PHANG NGA, Dec 26 – Thailand’s Andaman coastal provinces in the South held tsunami remembrance ceremonies to mark the seventh anniversary of the Dec 26, 2004 disaster that hit Thailand’s six Andaman coastal provinces killing more than 5,000 persons, including foreign tourists.
In Phuket, multifaith ceremonies of Buddhists, Christians and Muslims were held at Mai Khao Cemetery where remains of tsunami victims were formerly kept, while a similar event was also held at Kamala Beach by the Japanese Association.At 7pm today, the province is set to hold the “Light Up Phuket” event at Loma Park on Patong Beach.
The candlelight ceremony will pay tribute to the dead and other victims. Candles will be placed in sand holes and airborne lanterns will be released.
In Phang Nga, merit making ceremonies were held at two locations in Takua Pa district — at the remains of police patrol vessel Tor 813 left grounded far inland by the tidal wave and Baan Nam Kem Tsunami Memorial Park at a fishing village.
In Krabi, Governor Prasit Osathanon joined a merit-making ceremony on Phi Phi Island and laid flowers in commemoration for the dead. The multifaith ceremonies were held with about 300 Thais and foreigners joining the event. About 700 people including tourists were killed here in the 2004 tsunami.
They observed silence and gave stainless steel wreaths to an environmental conservation club to lay on the 20-metre deep sea floor, about 800 metres from Phi Phi Island.
Thailand’s six Andaman coastal provinces – Phang Nga, Krabi, Phuket, Ranong, Trang and Satun — were hit by the unprecedented tsunami of Dec 26, 2004, with over 5,000 local residents as well as Thai and foreign holidaymakers losing their lives in the tidal waves.
On the morning of Dec 26, 2004, a magnitude 9.15 earthquake off Indonesia triggered the deadly Indian Ocean tsunami which left around 226,000 persons dead or missing in Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and nine other countries.