Words are hard to find this morning, as I take a breather and contemplate these last 4 days which has seen a freak once in a lifetime tsunami hit our tranquil isle and beat the living daylights out of it. Like a bully she was selective and hit hardest those areas which were on a marine shelf (Patong, Kamala, Bangtao and Khao Lak), as opposed to those with deep water frontage (Surin, Naithon, Mai Khao- JW Marriott, and Natai beach, all of which were almost completely untouched).
The devastation here was rapid, frightening and powerful; I was filling up gas at the Kamala station when over my shoulder I saw the wave come over Kamala Beach, and just had time to flee for my own life. I was a lucky one.
Fortunately my own circle of friends and family are all OK, quite a few lost houses and all their possessions but in many instances fate was fortunate to the local resident expat community. Our internet is back up today and phone services are getting better.
The waves savaged Patong, flattened Kamala Beach, the Southern end of Bangtao and made its way to Phang Nga where the worst devastation occurred, all of which happened on a beautiful, sunny, quiet Sunday Boxing morning.
Our hearts go out to the many that were not so lucky and those families that lost loved ones. Phuket is in turmoil however a rebuild is already underway, the army is clearing rubble, homeowners have salvaged what they can and are preparing to rebuild, the small beach restaurants on places like Laem Singh beach are already mid re-build, and across Phuket there is a sense of I CAN, as people band together to re-cover, which she will surely do.
The west coast areas hardest hit have surely taken an almighty beating but will recover, and recover quickly.
I have received many concerned calls and emails, and although I can’t thank you individually as today’s again going to be a crazy day but we all in Phuket appreciate your words of support, prayers and donations.
I am tracking down bank account details for the Phuket orphanage and am personally raising money for Mrs Rain, a single mum who owns the “rain” general store next to my funky beach office in Kamala. The wave smashed through and destroyed both our places but fortunately all her family got out just before. She lost her shop, house and car but shows a resolve and determination to rebuild that makes me very proud to live in this beautiful place and share my time here with locals like her. My young colleague Phairoj also lost everything and we will raise some cash for him to rebuild his family house which he shares with a wife and two young kids.
Our Surin office was unscathed, and our restaurant Rockfish miraculously also survived (battered and bruised but structurally sound), the wave hit it her hard, full on, but decided not to rip her off the Kamala rocks... we’re taking a weeks breather and will re-open after the New Years. www.rockfishrestaurant.com
Thank you for your support and concerns, give us some time to get Phuket organized again and we can all play a part in the rebuild of Phuket, just as St Barts and Miami, Bermuda and Barbados have done many times before. Yesterday we had 4 seriously interested purchasers walk into our Surin office, and two the day before... I don’t think there will be much of a slowdown in the property market here.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year and may our Island be smiled upon in 2005 and be visited by friends like you.
Nick, Tasha, Dao, Suwanna and Phairoj.
Indigo Real Estatewww.indigoRE.com Surin Beach, Phuket+ 66 9873 2042