All safe in Koh Lanta
Trip Start Nov 16, 2004
40Trip End Nov 15, 2005
We woke on Boxing Day early for a boat tour of the island from a local fisherman. The five of us (minus Nial as he was suffering from Xmas celebration) and four friends from Denmark hired the boat and we set off at just after 9.30.
We went up the west coast of the island and went for a snorkel towards the north tip of the island, near the town centre of Koh Lanta. This was at about 10.30. We thought about stopping here to have some drinks but decided we would keep going around the island.
The current seemed to be very strong and the three fisherman that we were with advised us to sit on the seats of the long tail-boat (instead of the edge as we had been)
At this point is was about 11am and blissfully ignorant that a tsunami had been created from a very large (9.0 richter) earthquake under the ocean just off the Indonesean coast. While we were being motored to a safe place to stop, Merry Lanta Hut and the west coast of Koh Lanta was being lashed by a huge tidal wave.
We were told by a stranger that we should head for the mountains as many parts were about to be flooded. As he didn't speak much English we were unsure if this was an elaborate con or he was being over dramatic. As is turns out he was being serious and everyone was being advised to head for the safe high ground.
We still didn't have a clue what was going on. A friendly driver took all 9 of us to a restaurant on high ground and we were taken aback by the large number of people on the side of the road and in the restaurant
The afternoon was spent in the same place as we took in what was happening. We moved a little later to a semi built house in the mountains where we spent a very bizzare evening.
We came down to survey the damage and pick some things up when we were quickly shouted back onto the Jeep as reports of after shocks were reportedly hitting Phuket.
At about 2pm this afternoon we came back down to the resort. We are doing our best to help clean up. It is incredible how 5 minutes of waves can cause so much distruction
Will try to update more soon. In the meantime and we are all well, if a little shocked.