Tsunami spawned by a huge earthquake in Sumatra have battered coastlines in Thailand, Sri Lanka, and India. Thousands dead. I’m looking at pictures on CNN from Phuket in Thailand, and it’s a mess.
We went on a diving/sailing trip to Phuket in 1997, and it’s a popular tourist destination for Americans and Europeans, especially around this time of year. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to be snorkeling or scuba diving there when the surge came. Places I’ve been: Phi Phi (pronounced Pee Pee) Island, home to an idyllic tourist town and five star hotel, devastated; the main street of Patong Beach, half a meter underwater.
The Philippines has been safe from any tsunami so far, since the epicenter of the quake was on the other side of the Indochinese Peninsula.
Update: A WaPo writer’s firsthand account from the beaches of Sri Lanka. We also have a friend in Thailand who captains yachts for delivery, and he was in Bangkok, about to head out to Phuket, when the surge hit. His wife just called in to say they’re fine, and dang lucky too.