Some of the most immediate and personal reactions to the devastating Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami came from bloggers in the region. Here are excerpts from a few written in the first hours of the disaster, with most of the idiosyncratic spelling, grammar and punctuation intact _ and most of the expletives deleted:
ronnietan near Penang, Malaysia:
Home was hit by Tidal wave ... practically lost everything....family is fine...thank god... to all out there... appreciate what you have...even the smallest things and event that u consider irrelevant.. cause after this mishap...well..view's on life has change alot for me.. + sigh+ back to cleaning up and getting home back on its feet
ccmbrown in Bangkok:
More than a thousand people died here because of Tsunami. And the son of our princess died too. We all so sad about that. And... now there're many tourists waiting for the rescues in eight islands in the west side of the south of Thailand (Hong Island, Kai Island, Poda Island, Hang Nag Cape, Rai Lay Bay, PP Island, Jum Island and Lanta Island)...for about 800 of tourists. I will send 10 helicopters to help them and including doctors, medicines and foods.
hserus in Madras, India:
Widespread damage, thousands of lives lost across Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India ... a tsunami swamping the beaches in Madras at just the right time to sweep away a large crowd of morning joggers. Priya and I are safe, barring a nasty shock when she was jerked out of bed early today morning by the quake, and I was sleepily muttering "just an earthquake, get back to sleep" before I woke up and flipped on the TV ... We've left the TV on, flipping back and forth from one news channel to another, one horrendous picture to another, is making us more than a bit shell shocked.
ellieelephant in Phuket, Thailand:
i had planned to make a post about Tom Cruise, Scientology and The Last Samurai, when my dad woke me up this morning at 8 o'clock, shouting "Earthquake! Earthquake!" Keep in mind that I had just woken up, I had had three hours sleep, and I live in Phuket, a place that isn't supposed to have earthquakes. So I stood there, gaping at the shaking furniture, while my dad paced around some more. A minute later, the table kindly stopped shivering and I went back to sleep. All was fine and dandy, even with the neighbours' kids screaming at the helicopters flying overhead.
At noon, my dad woke me up again, shouting, "Tsunami! Tsunami!" Quite awake now, my brain finally put together the immensely complicated three piece puzzle of, "Earthquake. Helicopters. Tsunami. Ergo, things are not as they should be." It's one of the most surreal days I've had in a long long time. (No, Jake Gyllenhaal was not there.)...
First of all: I. Am. Fine ... Others aren't so lucky. The epicentre of the quake was in the north of Sumatra, about 250 km from Phuket. We had slight tremors at around 8 in the morning, and then tidal waves about 16 feet high hit the West coast of Phuket (Rawai, Patong), the Similans, Koh Lanta, Phi Phi Islands. The wave reached 300 m inland at Patong and swept hundreds of tourists into the sea. If you'd have asked me two days ago, I'd have said that the worst thing that's happened to me in a while was getting my period on Christmas Eve. Irony really likes to f_- with people, doesn't it?...
I feel... odd. Kind of detached. I know that terrible things are happening only about a 20 minute drive away from my comfy home, and yet it doesn't feel like anything but numbers. First the earthquake in Sumatra was 8.1 on the Richter scale. Then it was 8.5, and now it's confirmed to be 8.9. Right. I can figure out the amount of energy in Joules the quake took, using equations and logarithms, but I can't begin to wrap my mind around the consequences. Thousands of people are dead, and more are injured or lost at sea, but I can't feel anything.
meilathena in Medan, Indonesia:
There was a kinda big earthquake in my place this morning ... It woke me up, and I ran downstairs amazingly fast ... That was shocking. I thought this house will be ruined, but thank God it's not ... 2 tsunamis in Lhokseumawe. A town near my place! The first tsunami was as high as one coconut tree, and the second one was worse ... 2 times taller than the first one. That makes bad flood in 2 villages there, and some villages around that town.
dhruhini, whose family is in Sri Lanka:
Thankfully my parents are okay _ they have not been affected physically. However we have lost some of our closest friends ... The death toll in Sri Lanka alone is over 13,000 right now and is expected to rize to about 15,000 within the next 24 hours. Over a million people (5% of the total population of the island) have been left homeless and have been evacuated to shelters further inland. However they are direly in need of food and medicine and water _ please do anything you can to help. I know the Red Cross and the UN are accepting donations right now, and they are also looking for doctors that are willing to help.
darthmyrrh in Thailand:
In my country, the death toll is now four hundreds and counting. (You can always expect it to be much higher, 'coz the goddamned government wouldn't want the people to "panic" by showing the real death toll) ... And THEY DID NOT GET ANY F___ WARNING ... Nothing. Because some machine in Phuket was broken, and they were "still waiting" for the budget to get a new one. The officers there didn't even know when the first quake occurs. Oh, by the way, you might want to get the dvd of The Beach. Because that beach you saw in the movie is gone...And it is. These pictures from Phuket show just how quickly the tsunami came ashore, and just how horrible it was.
notanangel78 in Chennai, India:
I am closer to the beach. A church by the beach is supposedly flooded, and there are reports of people being drowned, while in Church. I wonder if they got trapped or something! Luckily not much damage near where I stay...
vyshnavi in Bangalore:
The beach is totally flooded. Chennai without a beach feels totally weird, even though its only temporary... People around the beach have been forced to evacuate. Looks sad. :-(
I'm scared ... my best friend, alyssa (tuttifrutti) is currently on holiday in Langkawi, Malaysia ... if Pinang (Pulau Pinang) has been affected by this (8 people have died) then Langkawi must have been affected too. The tidal wave would have had to pass through Langkai before it reached Penang. Puhkhet was badly affected, and that's not THAT far above Langkawi. My god i hope she and her family are okay ... I can't believe this many people have died. This is horrible...