Foetus floating among bodies


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 06 Jan 2005

REPORT BY SIRA HABIBU IN THAILAND

KRABI (Thailand): The tsunami waves have subsided but families continue to suffer from the aftershocks as they comb, dig and rummage through the debris for loved ones lost in the disaster. 

A guesthouse owner said he saw a foetus floating in a water treatment pond, another man said it had become a nightmare looking at decomposed bodies while he searched for his missing wife. 

A British diving instructor is desperately looking for a lost dog. 

Krabi, where about 600 have been reported dead, is the worst affected province in Thailand, after Phangnga where 4,000 bodies were found. 

THAT HIGH: Srisongsad pointing to show how high the seawaterreached up to the first storey of his guesthouse, situated about300m inland on Dec 26. — STARpic by GOH GAIK LEE

Other disaster-riddled areas were Phuket, where nearly 300 people were killed, Ranong, Trang and Satun. 

Dream Guesthouse owner Lee Srisongad said his heart sank when he saw a foetus floating among many dead bodies in a treatment pond near his guesthouse. 

“I knew it must be the baby of a friend of mine who owned a grocery store. She was six months pregnant, and she is missing,” he said. 

Srisongad is also searching for another friend, Vanich Wanaphoti, 46, who had gone to the beach to pick up a guest when the tsunamis struck.  

Srisongad, 51, said he was working on his computer in his guesthouse when he heard ghastly screams from the outside. 

“When I heard people screaming I stepped outside. 

“The seawater was pushing everything in its path.  

“Flying zinc roofs flew like blades”, he recalled, adding that he could not forget the deafening screams.  

Suratporn Satmantharat, 38, is desperately looking for his missing wife.  

“It is difficult for me to look at one decomposed body after another, trying to identify my wife.  

“My five-year-old daughter is crying at home, pining for her mother.  

“I do not know what to do,” said Satmantharat, who appeared to be in a daze.  

A British diving teacher, who declined to be named, was seen looking for a brown dog that she said she had grown attached to. 

“I want to take the dog back with me to Phuket. Someone told me that the dog was seen alive,” said the Briton.  

Meanwhile, South Korea deployed its 119 search and rescue team to the island yesterday to locate bodies trapped under the rubbles.  

Rescuer Lee In Sun, who is part of the 15-men team, said some bodies could still be trapped inside the debris, as the stench was quite strong.  

“We retrieved about 11 bodies at Khao Lak beach in the Phangnga province yesterday (Tuesday),” he said.  

Senan Shangnam, who sold climbing accessories on Phi Phi Island hoped the Thai government could help re-establish businesses that were destroyed. 

He reckoned that more than 5,000 people on the island had lost their source of income because of the tsunami.  

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