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Panic before the storm (a terribly sad series of three pictures taken as the tsunami approaches)
Sydney Morning Herald ^ | 12/30/04

Posted on 12/30/2004 7:06:00 AM PST by dead

Tourists run for their lives as the first of six tsunamis starts to roll towards Hat Rai
Lay Beach, near Krabi in southern Thailand. One woman runs towards the waves.
Photo: AFP




The woman continues to run as the wave advances.
Photo: AFP




With the waves engulfing boats, the woman makes contact with her group. It is not known if they survived.
Photo: AFP


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 500mph; aceh; andaman; bangladesh; beach; burma; death; drown; earthwuake; engulf; flood; hatraylai; india; inundate; jetspeed; kill; krabi; malaysia; maldives; nicobar; ocean; penang; phiphi; phuket; sea; seychelles; shoreline; somalia; speed; srilanka; suckedunder; sumatraquake; survive; tanzania; thailand; tidalwaves; tourists; tsunami; washedaway; wavesofdeath; whirlpool
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After the first two pictures, I just thought the woman was being an incredible dumbass thinking she’s having fun.

She was running towards what looks like her husband and four kids. I would imagine the five of them are all gone. It’s just so sad.

1 posted on 12/30/2004 7:06:00 AM PST by dead
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To: dead

Is that dark blue thing way in the background the tsunami?

If so, it is HUGE

2 posted on 12/30/2004 7:08:18 AM PST by Lazamataz ("Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown" -- harpseal)
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To: Lazamataz

That's just hills in the background.


3 posted on 12/30/2004 7:09:57 AM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: Lazamataz
Those looks like mountains. What's most interesting to me is how far out the water line receded to.
4 posted on 12/30/2004 7:10:14 AM PST by KoRn
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To: Lazamataz

nah thats land of some sort...

the Tsunami was only about 6-10 feet high....


5 posted on 12/30/2004 7:10:44 AM PST by MikefromOhio (11 days until I can leave Iraq and stop selling hot dogs in Baghdad....and boycotting boycotts)
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To: Lazamataz

I think what you are referring to is a land mass in the distance. The tsunami is the foaming white wave approaching.


6 posted on 12/30/2004 7:10:48 AM PST by Hatteras
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To: Lazamataz
Is that dark blue thing way in the background the tsunami?

no that would be a mountain/hill.... the tsinami is the huge wave comming in...

7 posted on 12/30/2004 7:10:51 AM PST by Echo Talon
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To: dead

The wave in the foreground, then, simply doesn't look that large. But, of course, as we know looks are clearly decieving in this case.


8 posted on 12/30/2004 7:10:55 AM PST by Lazamataz ("Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown" -- harpseal)
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To: dead

Very sad!


9 posted on 12/30/2004 7:11:03 AM PST by Arpege92 (Modern liberalism requires everyone to look different but think the same. - Lizavetta)
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To: KoRn

I dont know about you guys, but if I see the water receed like that, I am running for the hills....


10 posted on 12/30/2004 7:11:59 AM PST by MikefromOhio (11 days until I can leave Iraq and stop selling hot dogs in Baghdad....and boycotting boycotts)
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To: Lazamataz

The white line is the wave. I imagine the blue is mountains in the background.


11 posted on 12/30/2004 7:12:14 AM PST by Lokibob (All typos and spelling errors are mine and copyrighted!!!!)
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To: dead

In retrospect, we regard those people as idiots, but looking at the waves, they don't look THAT ominous. I've seen pictures of surfers in Hawaii on MUCH scarier looking waves. Not until you see them engulfing the boats do they look like something potentially scary. The tourists just don't realize that when those waves get to them, they are STRONG and followed by a whole LOT of water that is going to continue pushing inland. They probably thought the waves would stop at the shore. I'm betting the woman and family did not make it. SAD.


12 posted on 12/30/2004 7:12:34 AM PST by Muzzle_em
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To: dead

The wave was coming in at sixty or so. MPH. Hard to outrun.


13 posted on 12/30/2004 7:13:07 AM PST by bvw
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To: MikeinIraq
"I dont know about you guys, but if I see the water receed like that, I am running for the hills...."

Same here.

14 posted on 12/30/2004 7:13:40 AM PST by KoRn
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To: MikeinIraq
the Tsunami was only about 6-10 feet high....

That's interesting! 3-4 foot waves are common on the ocean, so I would never have suspected that the tsunami that caused this much devastation would have a wave height that small.

I was envisioning these 50 feet walls of water....

15 posted on 12/30/2004 7:14:00 AM PST by Lazamataz ("Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown" -- harpseal)
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To: Muzzle_em
In retrospect, we regard those people as idiots, but looking at the waves, they don't look THAT ominous. I've seen pictures of surfers in Hawaii on MUCH scarier looking waves. Not until you see them engulfing the boats do they look like something potentially scary. The tourists just don't realize that when those waves get to them, they are STRONG and followed by a whole LOT of water that is going to continue pushing inland. They probably thought the waves would stop at the shore.

Zactly. They just don't look as dangerous as they are.

16 posted on 12/30/2004 7:15:09 AM PST by Lazamataz ("Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown" -- harpseal)
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To: Lokibob

Look at the 3rd pix and you can see 2 waves, one right behind the first and MUCH taller. Judging from the boats, I
d guess that each wave was 10-15 feet, making the total 30'.


17 posted on 12/30/2004 7:15:20 AM PST by Lokibob (All typos and spelling errors are mine and copyrighted!!!!)
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To: Lazamataz

well if you think about it, water is one of the most powerful forces on Earth.

It isnt the height, its the momentum of such an event....

These waves had been going for hundreds of miles...which was just building up the force higher and higher......


18 posted on 12/30/2004 7:15:33 AM PST by MikefromOhio (11 days until I can leave Iraq and stop selling hot dogs in Baghdad....and boycotting boycotts)
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To: Lazamataz

Caption says first of six.Perhaps 2-6 were bigger.


19 posted on 12/30/2004 7:15:36 AM PST by John W
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To: Muzzle_em

I suspect that the pictures you see were taken from places that did not get hit so hard. The photographer survived.


20 posted on 12/30/2004 7:15:40 AM PST by Brilliant
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To: dead
When I viewed that second photo I could almost feel that she was running as if panicked and looking for her children. It seems that is what was happening.

If I recall something I had read, the first two or three waves were not as large and strong as the three following.

21 posted on 12/30/2004 7:16:05 AM PST by lindor (My computer has Bugs and I like him!)
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To: bvw

actually they said the waves were moving at 500 MPH....


22 posted on 12/30/2004 7:16:19 AM PST by MikefromOhio (11 days until I can leave Iraq and stop selling hot dogs in Baghdad....and boycotting boycotts)
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To: Lazamataz

Problem is, the tsunami wave just keeps coming. Regular waves receed after a few seconds.


23 posted on 12/30/2004 7:16:22 AM PST by ctdonath2
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To: Lazamataz

I have read that the closer to shore line the tsunami gets the higher it gets. Don't know if this one got higher or not.


24 posted on 12/30/2004 7:16:40 AM PST by Ditter
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To: Lazamataz
I think when we look at that water coming in, we think "wave" and it's not so bad. But a wave is a temporary swell in the water level. It passes over you quickly.

What's heading towards them isn't the same thing. It's the whole freaking ocean that had just got sucked out. There isn't a back side to the swell like a normal wave.

Looking at the third picture, they are about to get pummelled by the leading edge, with the second tier right behind it. They won't just get knocked to the ground and then pop back up. They are going to get slammed and dragged all the way up to the beach and into the treeline and/or village.

Crushed first and then drowned.

25 posted on 12/30/2004 7:16:45 AM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: MikeinIraq
well if you think about it, water is one of the most powerful forces on Earth.

I'd argue that genetics is the most powerful force on Earth.

It isnt the height, its the momentum of such an event....

Well yeah, and this is why I'm not really critical of the tourists that somply stood there gawking. The waves don't look all that dangerous. It's what's behind them that is dangerous -- zillions of tons of 60-MPH water.

26 posted on 12/30/2004 7:17:30 AM PST by Lazamataz ("Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown" -- harpseal)
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To: MikeinIraq
the Tsunami was only about 6-10 feet high....

Actually, it was more like 6-10 METERS high, which is closer to 19.5 to 32.5 feet high. Look at the wave in the last photo in relation to the masts of the sailboats. They are clearly closer to 30 feet high. Scary. I doubt that any of those poor folks survived. They were just out too far to be able to grab onto a tree or something to keep them all from being sucked out to sea when the waves receded.

27 posted on 12/30/2004 7:17:34 AM PST by Bon mots
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To: Muzzle_em

I'm no expert, but I understand that tsunamis do not appear threatening while over deeper water. Indeed, to someone out on the ocean, it appears as little more than a swell. When it hits shallower areas, however, it rises in height and becomes destructive. From the pictures, this stretch of beach appears to be fairly shallow for quite a ways.


28 posted on 12/30/2004 7:17:51 AM PST by DK Zimmerman
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To: Lazamataz
The wave in the foreground, then, simply doesn't look that large. But, of course, as we know looks are clearly decieving in this case.

The wave builds in height as it reaches shallower water. In really deep water, it may only be a few inches in height.

29 posted on 12/30/2004 7:17:59 AM PST by WildTurkey
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To: Lokibob; Lazamataz

If the blue area is a land mass, wouldn't it still be visible in the 3rd photo?


30 posted on 12/30/2004 7:18:16 AM PST by EllaMinnow (and a Happy New Year!)
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To: MikeinIraq

That would be closest to the quake. Further away they slow down. But yeah, sixty would be the minimum -- probably much faster.


31 posted on 12/30/2004 7:18:44 AM PST by bvw
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To: Brilliant

Unless the photographer taking these photos was sitting on the seat of a Suzuki crotch rocket.


32 posted on 12/30/2004 7:19:07 AM PST by gortklattu (As the preacher in Blazing Saddles said "You're on your own.")
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To: dead

WOW, the photo of the surf engulfing the boats is awesome. I hear many people on boats survived.


33 posted on 12/30/2004 7:19:43 AM PST by 1Old Pro
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To: MikeinIraq

500 mph???? Oh my.


34 posted on 12/30/2004 7:19:45 AM PST by kassie ("It's the soldier who allows freedom of speech, not the reporter..")
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To: dead

This is why people called them tidal waves for centuries. It was like a giant, off-schedule tide had come in.


35 posted on 12/30/2004 7:19:51 AM PST by nhoward14 (Frodo failed. Hillary has the One Ring.)
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To: MikeinIraq

They move at 500 MPH over the open ocean, as they approach shallow water they slow down considerably, and as a result they get much higher.


36 posted on 12/30/2004 7:20:11 AM PST by dfwgator (It's sad that the news media treats Michael Jackson better than our military.)
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To: dead
HORROR
37 posted on 12/30/2004 7:20:46 AM PST by shield (The Greatest Scientific Discoveries of the Century Reveal God!!!! by Dr. H. Ross, Astrophysicist)
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To: Bon mots

crap you know what...I didnt even realize I did that...

It is METERS!!!! grrrr....I gotta pay better attention to detail :) Its been a long day....

I would doubt that the people survived the initial rush onto land, much less getting sucked back off....


38 posted on 12/30/2004 7:21:12 AM PST by MikefromOhio (11 days until I can leave Iraq and stop selling hot dogs in Baghdad....and boycotting boycotts)
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To: Lazamataz
I think what happens Laz is that the wave height varies from event tot event and place to place. As this one reaches shollower water, it increases in height exponentially. At Diego Garcia, the ocean base is so steep just off shore that the wave passes by as a small event.

The record of the century was 1700 ft tall in an Alaska Bay directly accross from a earthquake induced mountain collapse. It scoured the opposite side of the bay to that height removing a forest, so they know its actual height.

The well known one at Hilo came ashore as 30 feet high as I recall the stories.

Each is different based on the volume of water displaced and the sea-bed rise where it comes ashore.

39 posted on 12/30/2004 7:21:22 AM PST by KC Burke (Men of intemperate minds can never be free....)
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To: EllaMinnow

I think the camera panned to the left of the photo. Look at the rock in the forground that comes into the picture.


40 posted on 12/30/2004 7:21:24 AM PST by Lokibob (All typos and spelling errors are mine and copyrighted!!!!)
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To: EllaMinnow

The photographer has shifted quite a bit to the left by the third pic. You'll notice the boats are different. That's why the hills are out of the shot.


41 posted on 12/30/2004 7:21:27 AM PST by EternalVigilance (Shaking nine point oh - With a deadly wave goodbye - oh four departed...)
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To: Muzzle_em; KoRn
I have nothing but harsh words for armchair quarterbacks and their 20/20 hindsight. Tsunami's are way outside the realm of the familiar. By the time one can finish uttering the words 'What is going on?' - it's too late. Things simply happen too fast, the distances to safety too great.
42 posted on 12/30/2004 7:21:33 AM PST by SolutionsOnly (but some people really NEED to be offended...)
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To: MikeinIraq
actually they said the waves were moving at 500 MPH....

They're not moving that fast that close to shore. They only move that fast in the open ocean when they're a few inches high.

43 posted on 12/30/2004 7:21:46 AM PST by Strategerist
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To: dead

Yep, it's pretty much like getting hit by a Mach Truck going 60 MPH.


44 posted on 12/30/2004 7:22:26 AM PST by dfwgator (It's sad that the news media treats Michael Jackson better than our military.)
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To: EllaMinnow
If the blue area is a land mass, wouldn't it still be visible in the 3rd photo?

The perspective keeps following the woman as she moves out and to the left.

The hills are still there, they’re just no longer in the shot.

45 posted on 12/30/2004 7:22:28 AM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: Lazamataz

Think of it this way - on the other side of the wave front, there is no trough (as you would normally expect). The top of the wave is the new height of the ocean (for the next hour or so)


46 posted on 12/30/2004 7:22:34 AM PST by kidd
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To: EllaMinnow

The photographer panned left where the mountain is not in frame. Notice the position of the white raft in the foreground.


47 posted on 12/30/2004 7:22:40 AM PST by nhoward14 (Frodo failed. Hillary has the One Ring.)
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To: KoRn

You'd run for the hills except if your kids were in the water, of course. Scarey pictures,(understatement of the year.)


48 posted on 12/30/2004 7:22:46 AM PST by hershey
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To: dfwgator

Those waves look to be going faster....I would say they covered quite a few miles just in that picture (about 3 or so) in about 30 seconds or less....that equates to about 360 MPH give or take...

no chance if you were on the beach..its just going too fast....


49 posted on 12/30/2004 7:22:58 AM PST by MikefromOhio (11 days until I can leave Iraq and stop selling hot dogs in Baghdad....and boycotting boycotts)
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To: Lazamataz

The woman is running toward the five people (her family) in picture three....Notice her body language as the wave overtakes them in three....


50 posted on 12/30/2004 7:23:53 AM PST by hoosiermama (prayers for all)
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