Tsunami: South Africans evacuated in Thailand
Lauren Hess, News24 and Reuters
Cape Town - Twenty-seven South Africans were part of a group evacuated to higher ground in the Thai resort town of Patong following a massive earthquake that resulted in a tsunami warning on Wednesday.
The group was there for a golf trip and included radio DJ Clarence Ford and performer Alistair Izobell.
Izobell told News24 via e-mail that they were on a boat on their way back from having visited some islands and did not feel the 8.6-magnitude quake.
“Everyone [is] very calm. The hotel staff were in a state wanting to track us down and advise that we were not to come back to the hotel,” Izobell said.
All those staying in the Patong area have been evacuated and moved to higher ground and are awaiting word from police and tsunami watchers as to when they can return to their residences.
US seismologists on Wednesday cancelled its warning of a possible tsunami following the massive earthquake and aftershock off the coast of Sumatra.
"Sea level readings now indicate that the threat has diminished for most areas, therefore the tsunami watch issued by this centre is now cancelled," said the US Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii, which monitored currents in the Indian Ocean the quake and aftershock.
The quake and a series of powerful aftershocks struck off the Indonesian province of Aceh in a region close to where the 2004 tsunami hit.
In all, the 2004 tsunami killed about 230 000 people in 13 Indian Ocean countries, including Thailand, Sri Lanka and India.
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