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  1. #1
    Platinum Lounger
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    Tsunami aftermath

    To all those who lost their loved ones and livelihoods in the Asian tidal waves, we would like to offer our deepest sympathies.

    Woody himself is amongst the survivors. Although we haven't been able to have direct contact with Woody, we were relieved to read a quote from him in the
    Phuket Gazzette. More in this threead

    We urge loungers to do what they can to contribute to a disaster relief fund in their area.

    Here is a good starting point to find a fund.
    Cheers, Claude.

  2. #2
    3 Star Lounger Woody's Avatar
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    Re: Tsunami aftermath

    Not to worry, we're all fine.

    The CNN footage you saw of Patong Beach was taken just below my house. It's been a harrowing time. The house is high enough above the fray that we were never in any danger. But many, many people weren't so fortunate. Current estimates say 600 to 700 people in Phuket died. If you include the immediate surrounding area, that number has to be much higher. Some islands and pockets of mainland (like Phang Nga and Kao Lak) had enormous numbers of casualties.

    All of our friends are OK, although many of them had relatives that didn't make it. Many had to run for their lives to escape the initial surge.

    We're busy at the hospitals and down on the beach, handing out food to people who don't have a place to stay. We put up a local Muslim family that fled with the clothes on their backs. The father grabbed his two little girls and ran like hell. He didn't even have time to put on his shoes. We took in two other families as well - both of them foreigners who were staying in hotels on the beach that just weren't safe.

    The hospitals are overflowing. We're helping translate, so English-speaking tourists can communicate with hospital staff. Justin's working with the kids. I've given out the last of my PC-MOM T-shirts (I had about a hundred left) to people who have nothing.

    The tourists should all be gone within 48 hours or so - the Thai government is offering free flights to Bangkok, and free hotel rooms while there. It will be weird having a New Year celebration in Phuket with few tourists.

    It's going to take a while to rebuild Phuket in general and Patong in particular, but I'm convinced that a few months from now we'll be better than ever.

    Thanks to all of you who have written. Rest assured that we're doing fine. Things are going to be a bit busy for the next few weeks, but this, too, shall pass. If you ever felt compelled to donate to a charitable organization, now is the time to do it. The devastation exceeds anything you've ever imagined.
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    Woody

    For Dummies book author, Senior Contributing Editor for InfoWorld, and long-suffering Windows victim. Check out the latest at AskWoody.com.

  3. #3
    3 Star Lounger Woody's Avatar
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    Re: Tsunami aftermath

    Hey, Claude!

    A quick update. We're alive and well - and working our hearts out. Justin (my son) and I have been very active in the Rotary relief effort. Add (my girlfriend) is keeping the bakery going, and making tons of food for folks who don't have much.

    We were very fortunate. We lost two friends who were in Khao Lak, one of the hardest-hit areas in Thailand, and many friends of friends, but by and large we were among the luckiest ones.

    If any of you are interested in donating to a very worthy cause, may I suggest looking into the Rotary Club of Patong Beach's Tsunami Relief Fund http://rotarypatong.org . We're focusing on long-term needs for those affected.

    I'll continue to post updates on the AskWoody web site, http://www.askwoody.com .

    By the way, right now is the best possible time to visit Phuket. Although some areas were badly hit (Khao Lak, Phi Phi, among others), and the main Beach Road in Patong is still being cleaned up, the weather's beautiful, almost all of the hotels are untouched, and the island is humming along. We've had electricity, phone and water, all through the past two weeks, even in the middle of the tsunami. There's never been a high season in recent history with so few tourists. Patong Beach is usually wall-to-wall people this time of year. Now I go jogging in the morning and see only a handful of tourists. Check http://phuket.com for the latest details.
    Woody

    For Dummies book author, Senior Contributing Editor for InfoWorld, and long-suffering Windows victim. Check out the latest at AskWoody.com.

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