The following is an email from a friend of mine that I'd like everyone to read. I just donated 50 dollars via paypal to come from the site. I hope this story helps people that may not normally donate to such causes to change their minds because every bit is going to help these people.
> Hello Friends,
> This is an email from my friend in Florida. He emailed a good friend of ours recounting the events of the Tsunami he lived through while he is
on vacation in Thailand.
> In short, he is okay.
> Please read and pass it along.
> 10:30 A.M. my friend Todd and I were packing our
> bags to head off Phi Phi Island. We were there for 3
> days diving and celebrating Christmas. We heard some
> commotion outside our beachfront bungalow. Todd opened
> the door and "whoosh" the water started rushing in.
> Todd laughed. I told him we gotta get out but the
> water level rose so fast. We were trapped in the room,
> furniture was floating all over the place. A table
> blocked the door.
> The water level was at least 7 or eight feet in
> seconds. I think Todd was able to swim under the table
> but I was stuck. He pulled on my arm from outside the
> room but the current would not let me out. Finally I
> said, "We are going to die!" Moments later, I was
> underwater. Luckily the back wall of the bungalow gave
> out and I forced my arm free from Todd. I was swept
> with the current through the room and out the back.
> About 50 yards away I snagged a tree and climbed in. I
> tried to pull a woman up with me but could not get a
> grip, she slipped away. I never saw her again. Minutes
> later the water level went down and all seemed ok. I
> found Todd. He was fine. We were banged up and bloody
> but alive. We ran up a hill where there were many
> others gathered around a dead girl.
> Then the screams came again. Another wave. We all
> scurried up a mountainside as the wave took the rest
> of the town to the other side of the island. Once the
> water went down, more people scurried up. I ran down
> with a few others, Todd in tow and began looking for
> friends. The town was leveled.
> Thais were running food and water up the mountain as
> many of us started pulling survivors out of the
> rubble. There were only two buildings left standing,
> the Hotel Phi Phi and another... not sure the name.
> Todd, myself, another American (we'll call him
> Kansas) and David worked together most of the day with
> make shift stretchers bringing wounded down to triage
> at the Hotel. There were thousands of people up in the
> mountains and on rooftops and more floating out at
> sea. It was a major effort just maneuvering let alone
> carrying stretchers.
> A doctor named Eric and an English guy named CC
> showed up just before dark and really held the whole
> operation together. Choppers flew in with supplies and
> flew out with injured as we carted people off the
> rooftops and through the streets. I was constantly
> combing the ground for supplies like flashlights and
> There are so many horrific stories from so many
> One woman in an Internet cafe when it filled up with
> water was swept out and dumped in the hotel lobby when
> the walls burst.
> One German man watched his girlfriend die, showed
> us her body, but continued to help in the rescue. We
> looked for our friends Judith and Ef but their hotel
> was nowhere to be found. Later we found out they were
> diving underwater when the Tsunami swept them out to
> sea. They are fine.
> The main village looked like a war zone. It was so
> hard to maneuver with the stretchers. And there were
> bodies strewn everywhere, possibley hundreds.
> We spent that entire day and night carrying people to
> the choppers that were flying in 3 or four and hour in
> constant fear of another wave. We set up a triage at
> the beach with two beacon fires for the choppers.
> Throughout the night there were broken survivors and
> walking wounded all over the place. We heard constant
> screams in the darkness. Thankfully there was a full
> moon to guide us all in the rescue. At around 2am I
> walked about 75 people down from the roof of the Phi
> Phi hotel to be treated for their wounds. Most were
> minor and would spend the night on the island. It was
> dark and treacherous walking through the streets and
> rubble but we kept going long after dawn. I was
> treated for my leg injuries the next day.
> We finally got all the serious off the island and
> from then on were dealing with so many lost souls. The
> walking dead... people desperately looking for loved
> A 14 year old Swedish girl who lost her whole family,
> a very large German guy with no wounds but freaking
> out demanding to get on a chopper. It was total
> pandemonium. I was exhausted.
> I finally had to sleep on a loveseat I dragged out
> onto the hotel roof for a couple hours but we were all
> listening intently to the sea and the shortwave radio
> with voices constantly warning of more waves. They
> never came. Choppers flew in with supplies and flew
> out with injured and are still flying.
> I finally got off the island today and made my way
> with thousands to Phuket where the US embassy was set
> up with the others but was not prepared to help. The
> Thai people were wonderful; giving, giving, giving and
> so sympathetic, even apologetic.... like it was their
> fault our trip was ruined.
> I was treated for my wounds in Bangkok today and
> again the US embassy failed us miserably. All other
> embassies were at the airport helping their people but
> ours were nowhere to be found.
> When I went to their office they would not even let
> me use the Internet or make a phone call. Had no food
> and told me to get a new passport I would have to go
> down the street to get a photo taken. I explained to
> them I had no money so after mounds of paperwork they
> gave me a $100 loan. Hope I get a good interest rate
> Gotta go. Still in Thailand until the 9th. I can
> write more tomorrow if you like. Tell Lauderdale I am
> ok, broke and hungry but okay.... and we are well
> represented in Thailand.
> I have a shirt and shoes and my life and am very
> grateful. And I am very great full to Thai
> Love to all,
> One of the lucky ones.