Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Run to the Hills, Run for your life

Koh Phi Phi was one of the worst hit places for the Tsunami in Thailand with more than 2000 people dying in this beach resort alone. ( About one quarter of the people on the island at the time). The reason for the high death toll was because the shape of this unique Island. In fact it is 2 islands joined togethor by a sand isthmus. The tsunami rising up in the shallow waters approached from both sides and caused severe damage. much of the beach jungle was destroyed and the whole island was pretty much closed down for 3 months. But now locals are beginning to get back on their feet and the tourists are back bringing their most valuable contribution of cold hard cash. Must admit I was a little scared at first. We made sure we stayed at virtually the highest bungalow on the island, made mental notes about the best evacuation routes and was ready to jump up and bolt at the first hint of a siren. But alas nothing happenned. Although the week before there were apparently more than 20 earthquakes in the sea registering 4 to 5 on the richter scale (Tsunami was 8.9) and was enough to trigger off the tsunami alarms 2 days before we got there. One Irish girl we met found herself unknowingly the only person in a restaurant wondering where all the staff were. After about half an hour some very panicked and sweaty tourists returned having bolted all the way up the mountain. She was completely none the wiser there was any alarm going off. Sometimes ignorance is bliss... but not always.

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