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Under attack

News

Scott Wilson structural engineer Monnapat Sirinapaphan witnessed the Tsunami first hand while holidaying on Surin Island, Thailand. This is his story.

'On the morning of 26 December we set off to snorkel on a coral reef in a bay at the south end of Surin Island, travelling there in a long tail boat.

Usually, he water flow in this basin is from north to south, parallel to the shore. But I felt my body being swept towards the shore instead parallel to it.

Then the current started to change constantly. One of the boat's drivers called to everybody to get back into the boat. He said something was wrong and we quickly left the bay.

Out in the open sea, we saw a big wave attack the shore we just left. In the deep sea area around us there was a whirlpool and we could see the sand from the sea-bed turning the seawater white.

We tried to sail away from the whirlpool but couldn't. A white crest broke along the beach and another whirlpool followed.

Then the wave headed back towards us so we decided we had to escape to safety by heading further out to sea. We later heard that nothing was left standing where the wave had attacked the shore. I think myself lucky to have got up early and gone snorkelling.'

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