Thailand Tsunami - My Experience in Khao Lak - 26 December 2004

Thailand: 8,245 Dead
Why I was one of the few to survive I won't ever know. My fortune was partially due to luck and partially due to a few calculated gambles. This website tells the story of how I survived one of the world's most destructive natural disasters in modern history.

Having narrowly cheated death, I am left with a sense of extreme optimism for my future. Perhaps because I came so close to losing everything, that now every day of life seems like a new beginning. Being laid off from my job upon my return home was not a crisis. Combined with surviving the tsunami I saw it as an opportunity to reassess where my life has been going and how I could rebuild my career in a meaningful way.

This website is dedicated to the memory of the thousands who were less fortunate than I on the fateful day of 26 December 2004. Special thanks go to those I was with during and after the disaster - Petra, Bob, and Timothy.

Click here to listen to my story (5.2MB radio interview)

5 Year Anniversary - 26 December 2009
In honor of the 5 year anniversary, a few sobering statistics:
  • Khao Lak area had the highest number of casualties and missing people in Thailand (70%).
  • Khao Lak area had the highest mortality rate among tourists (50%).
  • The tsunami caused up to 300,000 fatalities in 14 countries.
  • The mean height of the wave was 7.3 meters (24 feet) above sea level.

Copyright © 2005-2010 John M. Thompson | Contact for photo use permission and questions/comments.