Tsunami - Thailand: On the Crest of a Wave

Television images of devastation and human agony, unforgettable scenes of personal grief and despair – as the tsunami waves separated parents from children, wives from husbands – testified to the enormity of the disaster. But the waves not only hit Thailand’s tourist industry and economy, they may also have turned the tide in the political campaigns that had just been launched for elections on February 6.

The World Today Published 1 February 2005 Updated 15 October 2020 4 minute READ

Larry Jagan

Freelance journalist based in Bangkok

While the country tries to recover from one of the greatest natural disasters and human tragedies to befall it in living memory, Thailand’s voters are preparing to go to the polls. The massive tsunami waves hit only days after the election campaigning had begun. Some six thousand people died, at least half of them foreign tourists, and several thousand are still missing.

Thailand’s internationally renowned tourist resorts along the Andaman Sea were hardest hit. Buildings were flattened, cars and motor bikes thrown everywhere. ‘It was like an atomic bomb had been dropped on the place,’ said Kevin, a young Australian, searching for his three travelling companions.

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