Connect with us


Tsunami Memorial Day in Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette



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


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Drugs50 mins ago

Police nab 600kg heroin drug bust, year’s biggest in Northeast

Koh Samui4 hours ago

Koh Samui unaccustomed to Covid-19, many act in dismay

Thailand6 hours ago

Bangkok Airways extends flight suspension to August 11

Sponsored2 days ago

Experience Phuket’s Islands with 5 Star Marine

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand7 hours ago

7 Jomtien Beach curfew breakers arrested

Thailand7 hours ago

Buri Ram pig stable converted into gambling den: 22 arrests follow

Thailand9 hours ago

“Fake news” banned, Thai media say order infringes on freedoms

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Phuket9 hours ago

Precarious Phuket: open internationally, closed domestically

Best of9 hours ago

Top 5 tattoo parlours Bangkok

World9 hours ago

Duterte approves lockdown measures for Manila

Best of9 hours ago

The Best Pizza in Bangkok with Delivery

Thailand9 hours ago

Thailand News Today | worker camp woes, ‘fake news’ crackdown | July 30

Best of10 hours ago

Best Premium Hotel Buffets in Bangkok

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

CCSA considers extending restrictions in “dark red” zones for another 14 days

Thailand10 hours ago

Fake dead bodies used in Phuket protest, police plan real investigation

Best of10 hours ago

Top 5 adventure tours in Chiang Mai

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8