Tourists tell of their tidal wave ordeal

PHUKET: Swedish tourist Kjell Sköld, of Gothenburg, has described how the rising waters of the wave trapped him, his wife Bibi, and their young children in their bungalow at Andaman Bay Resort, at Bang Tao.

“The water went out then came back in very, very quickly, taking everything with it,” said Mr Sköld. “When the water came into the bungalow, we put everything on the beds … all the windows were closed, so the water kept pushing everything up towards the roof.

“It pushed us up to the roof, then the roof came off and we floated away.”

After being washed down to land, Mr and Mrs Sköld managed to get their seven-year-old daughter, Stephanie, to safety in a high cement building, but then realized that their 10-year-old son, Sebastian, was missing.

He was found a few minutes later, about 200 meters away, sitting up a tree the flood had swept him into. “I can’t put into words what it feels like to be missing your son,” said Mr Sköld.

He added that the family were four days into a three-week holiday. “We were supposed to be going to Koh Lanta today, but we’ve lost everything. This is all we have,” said Mr Skoll, holding up a 15-liter backpack.

Marie Holmberg, her husband Henrik and her parents Denis and Gun Larsson went to see the chaos caused by the the first wave to hit Karon Beach … and found themselves caught up in the second wave.

“We were standing there taking pictures and the wave started coming back, faster and faster, so we started to run away, faster and faster, but my parents didn’t run fast enough,” said Mrs Holmberg, from Sweden.

The wave knocked Mr and Mrs Larsson over, and they were hit by rubbish floating in the water, but they were well enough to make their own way to Phuket International Hospital, where Mr Larsson was treated for a badly damaged toe and other cuts and bruises.

A member of staff at Bangkok Phuket Hospital said that at least 50 victims of the wave had arrived at the hospital within an hour and a half of the time it hit the island, but she said it was too early to confirm the numbers of dead or injured.

Phuket News

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