2B newsfeed: Tsunami in Thailand – December 27, 2004

Times are Bangkok time - GMT+7. A thread about the situation is on the forum.
Newer news is at the top of the page. The oldest news is at the bottom.

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December 27

11:58am, December 27 - Thai paradises lost to nature's fury - The Nation
...The popular Ao Nang Beach came in for an especially severe battering.
“Phi Phi is a total wreck,” lamented Mitchai Anansakul, head of the Nopparat Thara Marine Park. “Almost every building on the island collapsed under the 10-metre wall of water.”
Only two large hotel buildings, the Phi Phi Cabana and the Phi Phi Hotel, were left standing, but even they suffered heavy damage and will need structural inspection before they can be reopened, Mitchai added...

Corpses, debris cover beach resort - The Nation
...A large number of people died in Khao Lak as the waves demolished several crowded hotels...

11:45pm, December 27
- Translations from Thai-language newspapers: The breaking news section from Manager Online
- In Phang-nga, Dr. Porntip Rojjanasunan and other doctors said there are lacking formaldehyde for injection and coffins. The Public Health Department said that bodies that cannot be kept longer will be buried after photos, DNA check, and fingerprints are taken.
- The government approved 10,000 million baht for disaster assistance.
- The Meteorological Department warns that tidal waves can happen again.
- The toll of the victims around the world is almost 20,000 at present.
- The Public Health Department mobilizes to get the medical supplies into the area urgently. They reveal that many victims died because of their lungs being crashed.
- US officers who were following the strong earthquake in Sumatra reveal that they tried to warn Asia one hour before the tidal wave came ashore in Sri Lanka and Thailand."


11:22pm, December 27
- Translations from Thai-language newspapers: Matichon
"Mr. Sorajjana Nuanyoo, the famous astrologer, forecasted very correctly that there will be a disaster in the end of year 2004, the year of the worst terrorism and sabotage when there will be an earthquake killing lots of people, especially in the south. Meanwhile, Lak Lekhanited, another fortune teller, point to June 2005 when he predicts another disaster."

11:20pm, December 27
- Translations from Thai-language newspapers: Thairath
"Mr. Samit Thammasarot, the former director general of the Meteorological Department, warned of the danger of tsunamis in the Andaman Sea and south of Thailand on August 16, 1998." [At that time the prediction caused panic and commotion. After a few days the publicity died down with Mr. Sanit being criticized for alarming people needlessly. Coincidentally, Mr Samit is on Channel 9 being interviewed at this moment. He is warning of further aftershocks in the next 1-2 days and suggesting a float-based warning system for the Indian Ocean.]

10:00pm, December 27
- Thailand tsunami death toll expected to exceed 1,250 - Kyodo
...More than 1,100 people including about 100 foreigners are still reportedly missing and more than 7,300 people have been injured, officials said. Officials estimated that some 60-70 percent of the victims found so far in Phangnga, Phuket and Krabi are foreigners.
Phangnha Gov. Anuwat Methiwibulvut told reporters that he expects that at least 400 bodies, including those seen but not yet recovered as well as those expected to float ashore, are expected to be counted on Tuesday...


9:25pm, December 27 - More of what's on Thai TV

Channel 11 has footage of a ceremony for deceased royal Khun Bhumi Jensen.

Khun Bhumi Jensen's mother, Princess Ubolratana, places a wreath in his honor. Each of the wreaths is from a different royal and has their respective seal on it (Channel 11).

Monks chat for Khun Bhumi Jensen (Channel 11).

Latest statistics for deaths and injury by province. From top to bottom: Phuket, Krabi, Phangnga, Satun, Ranong, Trang, and totals. The middle column is deaths and the right-side column is injured (iTV).

9:23pm, December 27 - Continually updated official death tally from Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, Ministry of Interior (this site is very slow and often times out).

8:35pm, December 27 - What's on Thai TV

Channel 7 honors HM The King's grandson, Khun Bhumi Jensen, who was killed in the disaster.

Frame grabs from the 8:00-8:30pm news on Thai TV. Only Channel 9 and iTV are broadcasting full-time on the disaster. The other stations have regular programming.


Lines of tourists leaving Phi Phi Island (Channel 5).

Navy boat 457 thrown onto rocks on Channel 9.

Tourist arriving in Bangkok on a military plane (Channel 9).

Channel 5 makes extensive use of CNN footage for their broadcast.

8:05pm, December 27 - Kom Chad Luek is reporting the 866 death toll as well. It is based partially on missing boat crews being declared lost.


7:56pm, December 27 - Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet was reporting earlier today that 800 Swedes were missing in Phuket. At present, they are reporting hundreds missing. This paper also had an amazing photo of a huge wave about to swamp a poolside cabana (right).

7:18pm, December 27
- CNN International is reporting the death toll at 866. A correspondent in Phuket says it is "hovering near 900, probably going to 1000."

7:17pm, December 27 - Mobile phone calls to Thailand rise by 100% during disaster period - Channel NewsAsia

6:27pm, December 27 - Thread on Pantip.com listing all the disaster-related threads on the forum.

6:24pm, December 27
- Thread on Pantip.com with lists of the dead and missing.

6:04pm, December 27
- Thread on Pantip.com where many interesting photos of the disaster have been posted.

5:18pm, December 27 - For much of the previous 24 hours, those trying to access the the MCOT/TNA site, the official English-language news for Thailand, were met with "connection refused." Around this time the site became accessible again, but the news stories are about 8 hours behind both the international press and local newspaper websites.

3:42pm, December 27 - All programmes frozen, ModerNine TV covering only catastrophe, The Nation
[It is likely that this statement is in response to widespread criticism of television stations that yesterday broadcast pre-taped game shows and soap operas while the details of the disaster were unfolding.]
ModerNine TV has frozen all regular programmes, shifting its focus to cover the catastrophe in the tidal wave-hit Southern provinces. MCOT Plc’s two radio stations, English-language FM107 and Thai-language FM99, will also run all reports about the impacts.

3:42pm, December 27 - Khun Bhumi's body found, The Nation
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said the body of Princess Ubolratana's son, Khun Bhumi Jensen, has been found in Khao Lak, Pang-Nga and his body would be brought to Bangkok by HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and Princess Ubolratana.

3:37pm, December 27 - The Nation website, long overwhelmed by traffic, is changed to be a simple list of stories. This appears to allow connections to the site again (however, all the stories are erroneously dated December 28).

8:31am, December 27
- Now the quake is considered Magnitude 9.0

8:01am, December 27
- USGS: Warnings Could Have Saved Thousands in Asia, Reuters
A warning center such as those used around the Pacific could have saved most of the thousands of people who died in Asia's earthquake and tsunamis, a U.S. Geological Survey official said on Sunday.
None of the countries most severely affected -- including India, Thailand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka -- had a tsunami warning mechanism or tidal gauges to alert people to the wall of water that followed a massive earthquake, said Waverly Person of the USGS National Earthquake Information Center...


7:05am, December 27
- Disastrous scenes in Phuket, BBC

2:49am, December 27
- Most of the Thai-language newspapers have gone to press citing 'at least 300 dead.' There will likely not be any more fresh news about the disaster until it gets light again in the morning. On the forum, Medic1669 points out the live radio feed from Phuket's amateur radio network.

2:14am, December 27
- Asian quake floods kill 11,300, Reuters
...In holiday islands off southern Thailand, emergency workers rescued about 70 Thai and foreign divers from the famed Emeral Cave and dozens were evacuated from around other islands. Two Thais were killed at Emeral cave...


2:00am, December 27
- Weather office says it warned of tidal waves - Bangkok Post
The Meteorological Department insists it issued urgent warnings of impending tidal waves to people living in the Andaman coastal provinces, after criticism from people in the area that they received no word...


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