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post Dec 28 2004, 12:07 AM
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Joined: 20-July 04
From: South Haven, Michigan
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Just wanted to let you all know that we've heard from Roberto V. (who was staying in Hua Hin, Thailand at the time of the quake, and he is ok. Luckily the area he was staying at was not nearly as affected as the west side of Thailand. Roberto is working with a small kiteboarding school there in hua hin: www.kiteboardingasia.com during his stay.

He sent a message about the area:

As you know Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and other areas of SE Asia were hit severely by an earthquake, and more devestatingly by the tsunami that resulted from it. I was fortunate to have left the area (Phuket Island) only days before the event, when Phuket was hit by the first tsunami to make landfall in Thailand. My friend, Captain Ron, was also fortunate to escape a probable death, as he had decided to have a Xmas lunch less than a mile inland at the time the first wave hit around 10AM. He said the water came withiin a few hundred meters still! Estimates are that the wave was around 10 meters in height. Normally he is at the beach every day excercising at that very time. Patong Beach, on the West side of Phuket, (which is the town I was staying in for the first 4 days here), is pretty well destroyed. I saw footage on the TV of places I had walked and dined in the streets that are complete disasters. Some of the low lying nearby islands were wiped clean of life. The Eastern side of Thailand, including the islands around Ko Samui were not effected.

Sri Lanka, India and other places were hit even worse. The Maldives were completelly wiped out. How many lost?? No accurate estimates at this time. Perhaps you know better than I at this writing. There are countless numbers of people now, both foreign and natives, in all of these places that have little more than (literally) their underwear! No money, no passports, no clothes, no food or water! It is truly an epic disaster for so many with so very little.

Here in Hua Hin, everything is normal. In spite of the fact that these Thais know they have lost friends, brothers, sisters, parents, even children (the price even lost a son)...they continue to smile and carry on. I think that this is largely a product of their Buddhist beliefs, but generally this is the essence of the Thai mentality...to smile. Amazing

I'm sure the people that are living in the midst of this devastion are overwhelmed. Clothing, food, water and supplies are need to several countries and several areas. Total dead is 21,000 and counting.

Let's not sit back.. let's do something.


"Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country." -Anais Nin
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