Connect with us


Tsunami Memorial Day in Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Tsunami Memorial Day in Phuket | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly

PHUKET CITY: Patong held tsunami memorial activities on Saturday December 26, the fifth anniversary of the disaster and now National Disaster Prevention Day in Thailand.

After an early morning alms-giving ceremony, activities began as planned with Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop reading out a letter from Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

Many elected officials and high-ranking government officers attended, including Patong Mayor Pian Keesin, who was among those lucky enough to narrowly escape the waves that morning.

A one-minute period of silence followed at 10:10am, the time the first of the waves began to surge up and over Patong Beach and inundate inland areas.

At about 5pm, ‘Light up Phuket’ activities started with a concert by 140 top student musicians from nine schools playing in the Phuket Scholastic Orchestra.

After dark, Gov Wichai and Phuket Provincial Administration Organization president Paiboon Upatising made speeches. VIPs including Mayor Pian, Kathu Superintendent Grissak Songmoonnark and Tourism Authority of Thailand South Region Four office director Bangornrat Shinaprayoon were in attendance.

After a moment of silence, candles were lit in holes in the sand and lanterns suspended by wooden supports were lit, with flowers beneath in memory of the dead.

Some people released ‘khom loy‘ floating lanterns into the sky.

Similar events took place at Kamala Beach, which was particularly badly hit, and at the Mai Khao Cemetery, where the bodies of those thought to be foreign victims were stored during the identification and repatriation process.

Even five years on, the bodies of 398 unidentified victims remain unclaimed from the Bang Maruan Cemetery in Phang Nga’s Takuapa District, where the Thai Tsunami Victim Identification (TTVI) center stored bodies of victims thought to be Thais.

The TTVI has since been renamed as the Thai Disaster Victim Identification (TDVI) center.

Its superintendent Pol Col Niti Bantuwong said photos and DNA samples are on record for all 398 corpses, but no relatives have come forward with sufficient evidence to positively identify and claim the bodies.

Relatives of 444 people contacted the agency hoping to find the remains of missing loved ones but failed to find DNA matches. Most of the the missing are now presumed to have been lost at sea.

— Atchaa Khamlo

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Phuket officials visit Kamala restaurant after customer charged 6,750 baht

Maya Taylor



Phuket officials visit Kamala restaurant after customer charged 6,750 baht | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/ Lalita Chaiyasit

A seafood restaurant in Kamala, a west coast town in Phuket, has received strong criticism on social media after trying to charge a customer 6,750 baht for a takeaway meal. 3,000 baht of the bill was a “cooking fee”. Lalita Chaiyasit took to social media to vent her disbelief after receiving the bill. She says she was on holiday with her family in Phuket and wanted to order some food for delivery to their hotel. At the recommendation of their tour guide, she chose the Nanork Restaurant in Kamala, sending the tour guide to pick up the food. A report […]

Continue Reading


Phuket’s Lard Yai Sunday night market springs back to life

The Thaiger



Phuket’s Lard Yai Sunday night market springs back to life | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Lard Yai springs back to life - Phuket People's Voice

The Lard Yai Sunday night walking street along Thalang Road Old Phuket Town has reopened to the delight of vendors, locals and a few expats. It has been closed for 3 months after lockdowns were applied to community markets. New Provincial Governor Narong Woonchiew says he welcomes people back to the popular market. “The province and the private sector have worked hard to make sure Lardyai walking street is safe and complies with social distancing practices to regain tourists’ confidence.” Lard Yai, a fairly recent addition to Phuket’s vibrant market scene (about 4 years ago), became an instant success in […]

Continue Reading


Two years ago – remembering Phuket’s Phoenix boat tragedy

The Thaiger



Two years ago – remembering Phuket’s Phoenix boat tragedy | The Thaiger

“There were 13 children that died in this disaster. Many were later found dead, floating face down, not far from their deceased parents.” On an otherwise ordinary afternoon, two tour boats, Phoenix and Serenata, were heading back to Phuket after a half day tour of snorkelling near Koh Racha. The weather forecast was for seasonal monsoonal SW winds and waves, about the usual for that time of the year. But there was also a weather warning for a storm later in the afternoon of July 5, 2018. For whatever reasons the captains of the two vessels started heading back to […]

Continue Reading