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Old December 30th, 2004, 04:34 AM
Julien A
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Default Hit but lucky still

Hello everyone

Thanks for your concerns. Here in the Seychelles everyone is Ok except for one person who was fishing by the reef with 3 other persons and was dragged out to sea.His body was just found yesterday in the marine park. Many people also nearly drown and had to be taken to hospital, mostly children who where at the beach.

These waves really caught us by surprise as we never expected such waves reaching us and so powerfully. When the waves reached the main islands of the Seychelles I was watching CNN about the earthquake and I had in mind that maybe it will give us agitated seas or rough seas having reached the Maldives, thatís all. However when I heard on the radio that huge waves like never before had struck the coast on Praslin and La Digue islands that I realized something major was happening by the shore. I donít have a view of the sea where I live so I rushed to the shore and there I could not believe my eyes. The highway by the sea was wet and the sea had withdrawn. What was left of it was like a river flowing down, you could see the corals. All happened very fast as the sea rises up at 4m, more and down within minutes. This normally takes hours to happen and do not exceed 2m. We were lucky as all this happened during low tide. In fact I was by the shore one and half hour earlier. The first wave hit us at about 12 noon, it was a powerful one, then the tide kept going up flooding everywhere and down at great speed. The second huge one at 5:30 pm when the tide was high flooded the coast but the wave was not as big as the one. People who were by the sea panicked and started to run. The sea kept behaving the same way for more than two days. At about 2:30 am next morning there was another big tidal wave that flooded the coastal areas again. This one was a result of the second earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale.

We have been really hit here though there is only one fatality. Those who live by the coast have seen the sea coming in and out of their home rising to height of about 1.5m
And more ruining everything. Roads destroyed, bridges destroyed like the one close to where I live holding important pipes lines like the main sewage treatment of Victoria and the surroundings broken (there is another treatment plant though smaller closer to town). Hotels and restaurants by the sea have been affected as they got flooded or even destroyed by the impact of waves resulting from the first earthquake. Many boats sunk, driven inland by the sea and some there is no trace as they sunk. Cars, pick-ups and others smaller vehicles dragged in all directions as the sea rises and goes down in minutes. All ships in port had to be taken out of port to avoid them hitting rock bottom as the tide went down like never seen before. More than half of the capital of Victoria was flooded with the waves and there were fish all over. All infrastructures by the sea were affected, some badly even the fishing port. The next day 27/12/004 was declared a public holiday in Seychelles. Only 3 hotels are closed because due to the topography of the islands though most hotels are on the coast not all were seriously hit. Also we were not to close to where the earthquake happened.

There is no record of such things happening in Seychelles, not since the first inhabitants in 1770 though something a bit similar happened in Seychelles in 1883 but not at this magnitude. We have really learned something, that is the power of nature. Next time weíll pay more attention when there is an earthquake in the region though far from us.

But that is not all since yesterday 29/12/04 the main island Mahe is being affected by the heavy rain. Houses have been destroyed completely by collapsing terrace, falling rocks, some flooded with mud. We have seen houses also completely destroyed by a phenomenon where huge among of water just fall in a place from the sky destroying everything, big trees even digging huge hole in the ground. Many roads where blocked and in Victoria for the first time all shops where closed workers released as they got
flooded.
Here also the damages will cost millions. Today 30/12/04 it is still raining though not as heavily as yesterday.

It is the first time we see so many destructions by sea on the coast and at the same time so many destructions by the rain. All this is happening in less than one week.

However rests assure the Seychelles is safe for tourists in fact many visitors have diverted the stay to Seychelles.

My thoughts and prayers go to all those who have lost their lives or relatives or have been affected in one way or another by the earthquake and tsunami. Also the suffering the survivors have yet to face.

Julien A
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old December 30th, 2004, 04:56 AM
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WE are glad that you are safe Julien and hope you stay that way. Our prayers too, are going out to all those affected. Keep us posted please. Thanks for the detail report. It was, for sure, a big Tragedy.

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Old December 30th, 2004, 05:57 AM
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Default Re: Hit but lucky still

julien,

So glad your alright, my heart and prayers go out to everyone of you
This was a terrible tradegy, I think the people there have a
whole lot to deal with at this time.

Ill keep you in my prayers

Shelley
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Old December 30th, 2004, 09:17 AM
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Default Re: Hit but lucky still

Julien, thank you for checking in and letting us know you're all right, and thank you for your first-person account. The devastation this event has wrought on so many countries is of a magnitude we can't imagine, Prayers going out to all touched by this tragedy.

donna

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Old December 30th, 2004, 09:38 AM
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We've been watching the news. The destruction is unimagineable. It's heartbreaking to see. It's wonderful to hear you are ok Julian. Thank you for posting the information for us. Stay safe.
Nancy

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Old December 30th, 2004, 09:44 AM
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Julien, thank you so much for the detailed report. I'm amazed that only one person in the area died amidst all that destruction. What a miracle. My prayers go out to all of those living where the tidal waves hit. It is good to hear that you are safe and well.

Phyll

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Old December 30th, 2004, 10:05 AM
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Julien, Wow! Glad to hear you are alright. What a disaster! Nature can definitely be amazing(sadly!). Take care.
Brenda in Vancouver
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Old December 30th, 2004, 12:56 PM
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Default Re: Hit but lucky still

Thanks for the account of what happened where you are Julien! I am so glad that there was only one death in the Seychelles. Keep us updated, please!

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Old December 30th, 2004, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: Hit but lucky still

Julien,
Thank you for the update and I am glad you are well but I am also sad at what happened. I hope that the clean up goes well and that things can get back to something close to normal in a short period.

Feel free to post any pictures.

Take care,
Mike(Who has always loved your Seychelles pictures and hopes to someday visit.)

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Old December 30th, 2004, 05:34 PM
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Julien: Thank God you are okay and there weren't any more lives lost in your area. Thank you for letting us know.

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Old December 30th, 2004, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: Hit but lucky still

Thanks for the report, Julien. We've been concerned for your welfare ever since we learned that the tsunami had reached all the way to Seychelles and even to Somalia. Thank God that you and the people of Seychelles are unharmed for the most part.

The wave you mentioned as having occurred in 1883 was no doubt the result of the Krakatau (Krakatoa) volcanic explosion that occurred on an island between Java and Sumatra in that year. Over 36,000 people perished as a result of that explosion and ensuing tidal wave, but it appears that this week's earthquake and tsunami have caused a much worse loss of life and property. I lived in Indonesia for 2 years in the mid-1980s, and many friends there told me of the stories they had heard from their grandparents and great-grandparents about the 1883 explosion and its aftermath. Just imagine how many years from now people will be recalling what happened on 26/12/04!

I am curious to learn, Julien, how many hours passed between the time of the earthquake near Sumatra (sometime on Sunday) and the time that the wave(s) hit the Seychelles. It has been reported that a tsunami can travel at up to 1,000 km/hr. It appears that the distance between the site of the quake and the Seychelles is approximately 4,500 kilometers. So the tsunami could have reached you in as little as 4Ĺ hours, although I don't think that's very likely. Can you give us an estimate as to how long the waves did take to reach your country?

We're glad to see that you and yours are safe. We always enjoy your reports from your lovely islands, and we trust that you will continue to keep in touch with CruiseMates.

Jack

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Old December 31st, 2004, 12:31 AM
Julien A
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Default Re: Hit but lucky still


I think it must have taken about 7 hrs for the waves to reach us that was the calculations the local authorities in Seychelles gave comparing the time between the first earthquake and the time the first wave reached our shores.

Julien A
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Old December 31st, 2004, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: Hit but lucky still

So glad to hear you are safe, Julien. Thanks for your first-person account. Hope everything gets patched up in the Seychelles (as well as the rest of Asia) as quickly as possible.

Cheers,
Michelle P.

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