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Tidal Wave in Southern Thailand

8:38:57 PM
has anyone heard from Tim Vaughn??

white rabbit
2:33:47 AM
Speak for yourself stu....never caught a single thing in Ton Sai except for heat stroke....
Anyway hope you made it home safe :)


1:36:35 PM
hey guys, me and jac are still wanting to head over there as we have paid for tickets etc.. But are very keen to find out facts about the potential for catching diseases etc over there? Does anyone have any more info about this? I was of the opinion that it was mainly waterborne diseases that you are at risk of and of course if u drink bottled water this is generally negated. other issues are potential dengue/malaria?? -(with no standing water?) airborne? -no dead bodies? eating contaminated food? -does cooking solve this area?
any info would be greatly appreciated as i may be putting forward my ticket to travel with jac tomo night.

Johan Vonshizzle
2:58:02 PM
Get onto and find a link to the Railay website.
According to what i read - the facilities are in good shape but most importantly, they are wanting people to
go over - the tourist dollar is there lively hood. They need us to survive.

On the other side of the coin, Went into my travel agent today (flying out early Feb) and their people said
not to travel there (Krabi region) due to the strain on the local infrastructure. Krabi is disaster management
centre for Pucket and Phi Phi.

I'm torn. do i go over for a 'holiday' knowing what has happened and will be happening in the region for a
long time to come or by not going, these peoples livelihood is in jepody.


3:07:12 PM
hey johan,
yeh we're in exactly the same boat. however the other issue as I mentioned above is the health issue. I really dont' think as climbers we are putting much strain at all on the infrastructure.. they are probably talking about krabi town. I certainly want to support the thais there and have my holiday (as bad as that sounds) cos i've been planning it for a fair while now.. however if it means that i run a high risk of getting cholera or something i certainly want to be aware of it..

5:21:49 PM
>On 4/01/2005 Megan wrote:
>>Hey Rich - I was researching the whole disease thing myself. There's
>>few that are expected to stem from contaminated water: dysentry, cholera,
>>typhoid. But typhoid you'll be immunised against, and the others are
>>by drinking usual bottled water, and just being careful what you eat
>>usual food hygiene rules you use to avoid food poisoning). I can't see
>>that they'd be a problem in Ton Sai anyway, I don't see why their water
>>would become contaminated. That's only happening through broken sewage
>>systems and general sewage issues, and due to improper mass burials,
>>bodies end up polluting the grounds water.
>>For people who've lost their houses and are really in trouble, there's
>>pneumonia and malnutrition and all that sort of thing. Not an issue
>>Then increased mosquito populations due to stagnant water, leading to
>>an increase in dengue fever and malaria. Shouldn't be an issue round
>>Sai, but I might be more inclined to take that anti-malarial stuff.
>>And dead bodies (although not a problem round Ton Sai and Ao Nang), don't
>>actually cause disease. Unless they had a disease when they died, they
>>don't actually do anything of their own accord - they're just a bit nasty
>>to have hanging around. A bigger problem is what they can do to the
>>supply if they aren't buried properly.
5:33:11 PM
Hi rich,

I dont think anyone will give you a very definate answer on the disease risks but in the absence of a more expert answer I will give you my opinion.

obviously the greater disease risks will be in the worst affected , poorest and most isolated areas. It doesnt sound like you are going to anywhere badly affected. there are a number of factors which will contribute to risk. fresh and pure water is obviously important as a lot of drinking water will be contaminated. if you are drinking bottled water you should be ok in this respect but this is one example of placing strain on potentially limited resources as the bottled water may be in short supply and be needed by victims. it will be more difficult to ensure that the food you are eating is ok. this would concern me. most of the affected areas are likely to have problems with sewrage. sewage systems will have overflowed potentially causing widespread contamination. sewrage systems are also not likely to be functioning so this is likely to result in problems. It is my understanding that sanitation systems are one of the most significant factors in potential disease outbreaks. Even in the mildly affected areas where typhoid and cholera arent high risks, travellers diareaha and the like will probably be more common than usual.
dengue and malaria have been sited as risks. mosquito borne diseases are risks in part due to standing water following flooding providing increased habitat for mosquitos. In this case the flood water is salt water which isnt ideal for mosquitos so I dont really understand this but that doesnt mean the risks arent real.
large numbers of people living in poor conditions such as refuge camps contribute to the chance of epidemics occuring as infections are able to spread rapidly.
Also there is a large strain on health services so they are less able to deal with disease outbreaks in the early stages before they spread.
generally the risks in the least affected areas probably arent that great but exist never the less. The main question I would be asking is what conditions are the sanitation systems in where you are going.
i would also pay more attention to what dfat, who and large organisations are recommending than i would to local tourist operators. these organisations are looking at the big picture and have more information on what is best for travellers and the whole region.

in terms of helping out the locals as a number of posts have mentioned, an alternative would be to go climbing somewhere locally and donate some of the money you save on airfares to help those most affected. Even if you have already paid it may be worthwhile trying to get a refund. under these circumstances it would be bad publicity for airlines not to give full refunds.

5:53:15 PM
and so goes the confusion..!

Ta Megal & thanks for the good points MatD. I dunno that Tonsai's sewer system was affected because from what i gather the water didnt reach that far up the beach.

Im leaning toward the idea that it could be ok to head over there. Sussing the aid work too. Im open minded...if Tonsai cant cope and the risk is too high, we'll bail.

6:27:42 PM
There seem to be plenty of people out there with all sorts of opinions about what tourists should be doing. I don't think there really is a definitive answer one way or another. The WHO website is posting updates on the health situation there though.

6:34:14 PM
> Megal wrote:
> The WHO website is posting updates on the health
> situation there though.

Do you have the link?

6:40:12 PM
Sorry, edited the post straight after and added the link already :)

7:39:10 PM
thanks for your post mat. firstly from i've been informed from people in railey and tonsai is that sewerage systems were not affected and that there is little or no standing water.

I've just visited my doc and asked him these same questions and he's informed me that the main risk is from food and water but if you are drinking bottled water and not shower water then food is the only concern (apart from mozzies but i'll get to that). Apparently cholera and the like is spread thru you ingesting contaminated feces and for this to happen someone with the disease would visit the toilet, and then touch the food and not cook the food for long enough to kill the bacteria (normal boiling of water ie 7mins would kill it) and then you eat it.

So if we vigilant about water and watching that things are cooked properly then we should be fine. These diseases are not airborne. also apparently if you exercise the same caution then you should be able to offer aid in hospitals without having to stress too much about catching something.

apparently the risk of malaria/dengue is increased but with little standing water around and all of it saltwater, like mat said, i'm not sure why. Nonetheless i've got my prescription for more doxycyclines which will cover me for the entire period.
And crossposted from
Posted: 05-01-03 09:20 Login to Post Reply

I just returned from railey. As you can read, the waves weren't that big as in other parts of the shore. Anyway the people did a good job. two bars (freedom and tina) are already fixed and party goes on. You can get everything for food and drink and no deseases. Almost everything is cleaned up. So do nnot hesitate. Go there and help the people. Spend money as much as you can. They lost the all the tourists in the high season. The best support is to go there!

Take care

I'm feeling pretty encouraged about the situation and am keen to go (assuming my visa date gets changed in time!)

9:14:36 AM
I tend to agree (not that I know much), but Reiley is a small area and the cleanup is quick. It would be bad in areas that have a large polulation, but not around Krabi except for Krabi town itself, as it would be the hub for rescue services.

I would go! Doesn't sound like it is any more dangerous (health wise) than going to Nepal. I would take some water purifying tabs though.

Got another email dated 30/12/04 from Elke and Wee. Thought you might like an update from the place.

>A quick update on the situation here in Ton Sai and Railey:

>The Wave killed about 5 to 10 people on Railey West, Pra Nang and Ao Nang beach, >people who were on kayaks or just getting into boats and there are boatmen missing. >However, compared to Ko Phi Phi, Phuket and Ko Lak we were all incredible lucky. No >climber has been seriously hurt or killed that we know of. Railey West beach was damaged >the worst. Ton Sai beach lost the bamboo huts on the beachfront (i.e. Sawadee Bar and >Tina restaurant) but no bungalows were destroyed.
>Today the beaches look quite normal again, there has been a giant clean-up effort. Boats >are running again, the news that there is no food or drinking water on Railey or Ton Sai is >WRONG. Restaurants are open. All bungalow places still have guests. Actually, Ton Sai is >pretty much back to normal as many climbers stayed and continued their vacation.
>If you or someone you know is considering a climbing vacation: please come!!! You will >experience no problems and this place needs your business now more than ever. Thanks >to all for the e-mails and good wishes! Elke & Wee

Take care people, and safe travels!!
10:49:55 AM
it sounds like its actually not too bad. if the sanitation systems are ok I would go. just be a bit more careful than usual. dont forget your mozzie repellent. anti malarials are not completely reliable and obviously dont protect you from other insect bourne diseases.
If the infastructure can cope then spending your money there is better than doing nothing.
11:26:40 AM

i was in thailand in 1990 and spent much time on Rai Lai beach,
can anyone tell me why there are so many spellings of the name and which
is correct. i assumed the way i spelled it is right, and was from a sign
a photographed. this week i looking for info on the beach, on the web and got thrown
off by the many spellings. thanks hugo.

11:36:33 AM
On 5/01/2005 hugo wrote:
>i was in thailand in 1990 and spent much time on Rai Lai beach,
>can anyone tell me why there are so many spellings of the name and which
>is correct. i assumed the way i spelled it is right, and was from a sign
>a photographed. this week i looking for info on the beach, on the web
>and got thrown
>off by the may spellings. thanks hugo.

They are all correct, its a Thai word and there is no direct/one English translation

Phil S
12:19:44 PM
On 27/12/2004 SteveH wrote:
>Whilst the earth is forever going to have droughts, floods, earthquakes and fire, one must wonder why if we have to fight to survive these elements, would we choose to fight each other as well.

Beautifully said Steve.

7:46:08 PM
On 3/01/2005 JCP wrote:
>has anyone heard from Tim Vaughn??


Sonia has spoken with Tim since the tsunami. I can't get him to text back, but Son was clear that he ws OK.



12:21:53 PM

6:52:33 PM
Well me and Jac rocked up this morning and are happy to see that indeed everything is fine. No problems with anything here on tonsai except for what the scaremongering has caused in that there is less people here than there would normally be, but you'd expect that. So yeah, water and food, sanitation, sewerage etc is all normal and fine, routes are still as awesome as they usually are and because there is less people here, a lot of the prices have dropped a fair bit. So if you want to give some support to the area, they could certainly do with it.

I haven't been there yet but i'm under the impression that pretty much of the tourists have left railey beach and that some restaurants have closed up on the west side but east side was apparently unaffected. So lack of tourists may be good or bad depending on who you are.

ao nang is unaffected except for the boat repairs business occurring on the beach.

So come one, come all!


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