Amateur Tsunami Video Footage

In addition to the extensive first-person coverage of the tsunami disaster on blogs, there have been several amateur recordings of the tsunami from camcorders. Unfortunately, the network websites aren’t making them easy to find and view. The videos are usually only available as poor-quality, streaming video like RealPlayer, and buried in popup windows and poor navigation.

Ben pointed me to downloadable versions of three clips. I’m hosting them here. (Unfortunately, I don’t have much information about the source of these videos.)

  • phuket.wmv (11MB) – shot from inside a restaurant, waves engulf older couple clinging to railing before flooding entire room

  • patong_beach.wmv (10MB) – rooftop view of two huge waves battering buildings along shore, then flooding of city streets
  • sri_lanka.wmv (7MB) – upper balcony view of hotel swimming pool area getting flooded as observers run away; woman asks “how high will it go?” before retreating
  • koh_lanta_thailand.avi (11MB) – shot on beach level; watch as first wave grows and crashes, before cameraman’s frantic retreat away from shore
  • penang_beach.wmv (1MB) – shot from wall above beach, three men are caught in battering waves
  • sri_lanka_resort.wmv (6MB) – upper level hotel balcony; restaurant, pools, and deck flooded as people cling to trees; two men narrate what they see

If you have any more first-hand video footage, or higher-quality versions of any of these videos, please let me know and I’ll add them. Most of these videos are also available as direct downloads from Cheese and Crackers, Asian Tsunami Videos, and Wave of Destruction.

December 29, 2004: Added two more videos. There is also some new footage I haven’t converted yet: BBC footage from a second-story balcony in Aceh, Indonesia.

December 30, 2004: Wow, you people used over 400GB of bandwidth in a single day! I’m now redirecting all video requests to several mirrors, courtesy of Gordon Luk, Leonard Lin, Nathan Perkins, and Ask Bjorn Hansen. Thanks for the help, guys! (Sorry about the temporary downtime while I was sorting out the details.) If you can contribute a mirror and have loads of bandwidth, please e-mail me ASAP.

December 30, 2004: Archive.org is now hosting all the videos. All download links will now redirect to the Archive.org mirror. Thanks to everyone who mirrored the files overnight.

Also, a final note… If these videos touched you in any way, consider donating to the relief efforts.

December 31, 2004: Basically, we broke Archive.org! The largest repository of public-domain audio, video, and text in the world couldn’t handle the demand for these videos.

I’m now hosting all these videos on my BitTorrent tracker instead. Because of the small size of these videos, I was hoping to avoid requiring a BitTorrent client for downloading, but the demand is just too high.

January 4, 2004: Back to Archive.org, at Brewster Kahle’s request. He thinks they can handle the traffic now.

January 12, 2004: If you’re looking for newer videos, the definitive source is the questionably-named Wave of Destruction. The site is updated constantly, with videos available by BitTorrent or direct download from multiple mirrors.

153 thoughts on “Amateur Tsunami Video Footage

  1. I know it’s horrific, but damn I wish I could have been there to see it first hand. I really can’t get a sense of scale of the wave. I want to be standing on the beach and seeing it coming. Then of course I want to live through it.

  2. Steve, I wish you could have seen it first hand, too. The world needs fewer people like you, and I doubt you’d have lived through it.

  3. Good job hosting these…it’s a real service. These videos shouldn’t be filtered in the disgraceful way the networks do.

  4. Not really, Brad. I’m pretty sure that saying you’d “like to have seen a wave like that first hand” when a tsunami killed 55,000+ people is worse than my wishing that person had gotten to see the wave first hand.

  5. Okay, we get the point. Steve’s comment may have been insensitive, but he’s not the only one fascinated by the epic nature of natural disasters. Enough arguing about it, though.

  6. horrific… Phuket was especially chilling. Thanks for hosting these. The headlines are hard to comprehend. These videos bring home to me the horror of the wave. God help them.

  7. Wow phuket was scary. I never understood how people could die in floods but now I understand. To see those two guys get swept up and hit down by a railing is scary.

  8. I’d like to apologize for my insensitive comment. It was totally not my intention to come off that way, but I did. So I apologize. I am facinated by natural disaters, and I often never consider the human impact. Once again, I’m really sorry if I upset anyone.

  9. Steve, I just wanted to drop a quick note to say that I’m with you. I find all these videos very informative and explanatory as to how so many people died; when a 20 foot wave comes at you and you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time, it’s going to take more than a person’s possible lung capacity before the water lets you get anywhere near air.

    I too would have liked to have seen this first-hand; we likely won’t see anything quite the same again in our lifetimes with the combination of location and effect. Many people died, but that’s part of why it’s good to know as much as we can about how this sort of thing can happen; while so many deaths couldn’t have been prevented considering the circumstances, a few might be in the future, even for much smaller waves (how people get lifted off to sea makes sense to me now).

    Paul’s just hurt and angry and doesn’t like seeing what seems to be someone ignoring the human death toll; I don’t see how anyone could be. But the way to make anything positive out of this is to focus on the fact that a truce was declared by the Tamil Tigers while the rescue missions are going on, and that a lot of countries are bonding together to send help. That’s good to know it can still happen, and I’m learning the names of a lot of organizations to give money to.

    Inspiring and awesome (in the old sense of the word).

  10. i understand where steve is coming from, although he may have worded his statements insensitively. For example, I’d like to see a tornado or an exploding volcano, even though both can cause massive casualties and damage.

    there’s a fascination with the raw power of nature in all of us that probably is in our DNA and goes back to the dawn of time.

  11. death at the hands of a natural disaster is as the name suggests – natural. i, like many people, am fascinated with the power of nature. one of the most annoying social quirks that has come out of recent events is when people try to enforce their sense of suffering and duty and sympathy upon the rest of us. There is no wrong way to grieve. Some do it with jokes — others with instropection — and some with vast prayer and what not. so if someone chooses to respond to the natural death of 63,000 plus people with curiosity to the powers that caused it and you have a problem with that — I say hold your tongue (please). you are perfectly entitled to your reactions, but you are not entitled to wish guilt upon others for theirs.

    the same type of group projected pyschosis happened after 9/11.

    and as a postscript, natural disasters are necessary for life to continue on this planet. when they stop, that means the earth’s core has stopped spinning and the planet is dead and all life on it is soon to follow. so, instead of lamenting, i’m rejoicing that our planet is alive.

    i don’t expect anyone else to share in my joy.

  12. When the scientists dig up the true facts , you´ll get records of 40 meter waves at places near the epicenter – the only safe place is on a very high hilltop – the images we are seeing are actually miraculous, as this one of nature´s big

    wipeouts!! Few , if any are able to live through

    this-check out Scotch Cap Disaster – Babi Island –

    Papua New Guinea – these were major events too !!

  13. number of dead was over 80k today. and it will propably increase to over a 100k of dead people over all when everyone is found.

    according to UN and WHO there are over 5.000.000 poeple that needs help.

    Horrible!

  14. When watching the footage of the tsunami disaster, it’s hard to grasp the magnitude of the waves. When watching the Twin Towers fall, the impact was much more obvious. To think we lost 3,000 people in that horrific event compared to the 75,000 plus people lost in this tragedy is staggering. Loss of life is horrible, whether in a natural disaster of such incredible magnitude or a car full of innocent people killed by a drunk driver. I grieve with the suffering.

  15. I too am awed by the power of Mother Nature.

    I trolled around and pulled together some of the best photos and videos of the actual wave that I could find.

    .:DataWhat?:.

    The lives lost are beyond tragic, but the power of the planet is awesome in the truest sense of the word.

  16. The video was aight, but doesn’t do anything to help me understand the human loss. These people should just leave and then there would be less deaths.

  17. Hi there, thanks for hosting this. I just did a Google search on tsunami, video, and December, and wandered into your site. Amazing stuff to watch; for those of us in N. America, it’s hard to watch this and think it’s real. I hope the aid reaches the survivors in time…

    –Poshboy, Washington, DC, USA.

  18. I deeply feel for those people. Don’t say they should have left, few people could have predicted the strength just by looking at the big wave.

    Only those who know the ocean could have estimated it.

    I hope rescue will come fast enough to avoid an epidemy.

    Mary

  19. What do i use to open thses video files.

    Windows media 10, VLC, Quicktime, DIVX pro, Easy DIVX player and Power DVD dont work.

  20. Re: Where the traffic is coming from. This is the second site that comes up if you type tsunami video into Google.

  21. anybody wanna toss these on a torrent using azureus…i started to download them and I think that the bandwidth overloaded because they don’t finish…?

  22. Again, hard to imagine anything like this. Interesting, was just watching Day After Tomorrow and you see the massive waves hit but it’s a movie. Next day I’m watching CNN and seeing this happen. I heard that there was no warning but if people are videocamering then dont they know the danger? Why are people hanging around in some parts? I’m still confused about this

  23. I guess the bandwidth is now used up because note of the links load into my media player. Anyone have ideas or additional links?

  24. Thanks a ton for posting these videos. I plan to use them in the Natural Disasters course I teach for the first time next semster. Like no other material, these demonstrate the powerlessness of humans against the forces of nature.

  25. i was at langkawi beach, malaysia, after an hour the earthquake i see the low tide very fast about 200 meters i felt there is something wrong, we just leave the beach asap, and as i felt from far away i can see a huge tidal waves about 26-30ft getting near very fast, im lucky to survive and feel sorry for those who lost their families and homes

  26. The video with the older couple holding on to each other only to be swayed away seconds later is running on different TV stations today (including CNN). The German NTV news channel was showing it around 15 hours after it was posted here. NTV shows http://www.db.no as source for this video (DB is the Norwegian newspaper “Dagbladet”).

    By the way, I see Waxy.org as number 1 (not 2) in Google for Tsunami Video, but I’m sure it must be something Andy can’t track — Google referrers can be tracked, but someone getting a URL from TV or radio cannot be tracked.

  27. Does anyone believe this is an ‘Act of God’? If so, he can’t be very pleasant.

    It sure is as far as insurance companies are concerned but personally I’d have grave doubts about His motives if I was a believer.

  28. Wow unbelievable. Its odd because no one has ever seen such a thing other than in a movie and in movies it is so magnified, like sky scraperes getting covered, that you get a little decensatised by it. At first when I started to see the 1st video the long distant shots did not do justice to the destructive power. Once I saw the resturant video with the old couple getting swipped away it then hit me even though these waves are like 5% the size of waves we see in movies yet their shear volume and unrelenting flow will do mass damage.

    Givin that Indonasia has so many earthquakes someone should have installed advance warning systems for the whole region. I know an Austrailing scientist had suggested it just under a year ago. We never learn prevention.

    I got to this site from Google.

    Does anyone know what codec is to be used to watch the “Koh Lanta Tailand” video?

  29. I found you thru google, keyword search tsunami video. Thank you for hosting, you are doing a great service.

    God bless the injured and the families of the victims

  30. Hey, Andy, I wound up here looking for the iTunes pics, but you have a great site. Wow…those are insane videos, (especially phuket.wmv). It can be hard to really “get it” living here in safely of the USA. The horrible thing is, with some sort of warning system, countless lives could have been saved.

    Anyways, it’s awesome that you’ve been willing to host these as long as you have. Your site is already grinding to a halt. : (

  31. One thing I find most horrific about so many of the amateur footage I’ve seen is how the people filming the videos don’t seem to fully grasp the true danger of the situation…and particularly the fact that lives are being lost as they stand by and film. Some even seem to be “ooohing and ahhhing” as though they find it amusing. Well, I guess it’s hard to say how one would react in such a situation — with disbelief at what they’re seeing, I suppose. I also find it disturbing that some of these people (filming) are not rushing to help those in need — particularly the two (Australian?) men who are watching from a roof as people try to cling to trees, while commenting: “Gee, I hope they can swim.” I do appreciate the footage that has been provided, though. While it only deepens my sorrow, it also helps me feel even more compassion for those people, in having seen what they’ve seen (somewhat). I can only hope that the majority of those who have died went quickly and painlessly. It is time to think globally. I urge everyone to donate what they can and keep these people in your prayers.

  32. Found site searching for downloadable versions. Wow. This is big news. I’m wondering what impact this will have on the ring of fire and Mt. St. Helens. Not only that but the earthquakes that will follow elsewhere and the weather pattern changes that may occur in the near future. This could have global impact. My mind is going a mile a minute.

  33. Thanks for sharing these videos. Initially the US media did not cover this story as one would have expected (hoped) but the same can be said for 99% of any news that happens outside our borders. Its disturbing. Please know that our hearts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this tragedy. Having lived through 9/11, I can appreciate the impact that this will have on your lives for years to come. Peace.

  34. How is it that so many nutjobs can turn this tragedy into something anti-american? So many dead and people are using this as an opportunity to knock politicians or site inadequacies of the media. Your political beliefs would not have saved one soul.

  35. How is it that so many nutjobs can turn this tragedy into something anti-american? So many dead and people are using this as an opportunity to knock politicians or site inadequacies of the media. Your political beliefs would not have saved one soul.

    Wrong, the whole idea of banging on about America not contributing enough as a percentage of GDP is to increase pressure so that it does donate a higher percentage. As has been shown here until recently you believed America was a good donater now you know differently. If all Americans knew that the politicians would do something and that would save a lot of the lives that are at risk now

    The big problem from where I’m sitting is that yet again the American media is letting the public down with it’s coverage of an absolutely massive disaster.

  36. All of this sadness has underscored something else very sad – the misguided priorities of our administration.

    The president has pledged an appalingly paltry amount of aid to these people. Of course, the critical factor one must consider here is the amount of aid we have pledged so far compared to that pledged by other rich countries and also as percentage of our GDP. When considered from this more rational economic perspective, one realizes just how very, very, very…very low the amount of aid really is. More is being spent in the first hour of waging war in Iraq EACH MORNING than is being spent to save lives from this disaster.

    Sad indeed and how this reveals Bush’s true priorities.

  37. Once again your “pointy headedness” has stated that the media is to blame for us being in the dark, yet I am on the same sight as you with the same information. You just choose to pay more attention to the negative media about our aid. Talk about being unobjective.

  38. All I can say I that I HAVE contributed to the relief effort. Have you? If so then you are setting a great examle. If not then ………. It’s all fine to talk about “the tragety” or how Horrific it is. But if all your doing is talking then your not helping anything. Go donate to the red cross or another releif organization. Then come back here and “chat”.

  39. >One thing I find most horrific about so many of the amateur

    >footage I’ve seen is how the people filming the videos don’t

    >seem to fully grasp the true danger of the situation

    would you without the perspective the media and distance give you? During the 9/11 crashes in New York, friends in the city were calling me in Washington state on their mobile phones, asking me what was going on because they were on their morning commutes and didn’t have any idea what was happening. I doubt many people in Indonesia or Thailand had any idea what was happening at the time, or the enormity of it. So go easy on those who were filming it– they likely lacked the perspective those of us at a distance have as the reports filter through.

  40. As a matter of fact I am making a contribution to the red cross, but that is just little old me. I am just concerned with the people bringing the Iraq war into this to further their political objectives. If I see the word Iraq again I will vomit, and I myself will move to Canada.

  41. Tim your absolutly correct, the international coverage of the tsunami was more informative than the local thai coverage, The thai media isn’t equiped to cover something of this magnatude. The vast majority of the footage(even that shown here) was from homevideos of tourists on vacation with no knowege that there was a tsunami until the waves struck. I hear prople critisizing some of the people recording the event, but put yourself in thier shoes, HOW WERE THEY SUPPOSED TO KNOW THE SCOPE OF THE DISASTER. After the fact it is easy for people to critisize the “humanity” of the videographers but the people critisizing them know that 100,000 died and it is a huge deal. the person videoing on scene knew there was a big wave washing over the beach!

  42. Andy: if you’re contributing then it is irrelevent what your govenmment is doing. Because the govenment is supposed to mirror the people not the other way around.

  43. Like so many, I was under the impression the

    tsunami were towering behemoth that layed low

    the tallest of buildings. So of course, when

    I watched these videos, the very first impression

    was “Wow…those don’t look big at all.” A few

    seconds later, I was understanding what was

    going on and how so many people are being

    affected by this natural event.

    Not only is it death toll (it’s too easy to

    get lost in just that number). I’m now under-

    standing the problems with disease, lack of

    food and fresh water…all that standing water

    with corpses still to be found. No, this stretches

    far beyond a death toll. It’s hard for me to

    imagine the number of people directly affected

    by this event. Thanks for posting these. It gives

    me a little better perspective I think.

  44. the tsunamis alone cost more than 70,000++ lives, not even accounting for diseases, lack of

    food and fresh water etc yet..

    Imagine the death toll in the longer term.

  45. i google searched “tsunami video footage”… this was the 1st link. U asked how so many people found this site right?

  46. I think it’s good for all to see the video and photos. This isn’t because of some sick cruel mind, but rather it brings to perspective that in an instant we could all loose our lives! I’m sure the guys who took the initial video didn’t comprehend 80K would die. Even though we read about it and see it, can you comprehend it now? I’m in total shock and horror and still can’t comprehemd it. It’s like being shellshocked. Image the city you live in gone.. It’s a great great sadness. Why does it always take a tregedy like this to get a government to act on warning systems and such?

  47. Just wanted to add my two cents worth to some of the things I’ve read here…

    Neil says, “What about the comments of the two idiots on the patong video, laughing at the wave coming in like it was a game. That made me feel sick,” and Carrie Liew says, “I also find it disturbing that some of these people (filming) are not rushing to help those in need — particularly the two (Australian?) men who are watching from a roof as people try to cling to trees, while commenting: “Gee, I hope they can swim.”

    I think this illustrates one of two points — one, that people didn’t really understand the magnitude of what was happening at the time, as evidenced by people standing on the beach watching this thing roll in. Second, a sense of helplessness. What exactly would you have had those Australians do? Rush down there and get swept back into the sea along with everyone else? Call the fire department? Beam them out of the water and into Transporter Room Three? One of them even says, “there is nothing we can do.” And he’s right.

    Dave says, “it’s shocking how little coverage the US media is giving this disaster in comparison to the rest of the world.”

    What in the name of all that is holy and just are you talking about? It’s on the news, on talk shows, on the front page of every newspaper I’ve seen, even in commercials seeking relief funds. It was a bit low-key at first but as the scope of the situation became apparent the media coverage stepped up accordingly.

    Dave also says, “Even the amount of aid the US is sending is pathetic in comparison to the amount other countries are giving.”

    Hey Dave? F**k you. I for one have become a little bit tired of the world’s entitlement mentality when they want America’s aid. Bunch of ungrateful bollocks. BTW, do any of the “which countries are supplying X amount of aid” try to factor in the cost of OUR MILITARY delivering aid supplied by other countries? Or how about America’s private donations? Does anyone care that Americans donate some 35 billion dollars a year in private foreign aid over and above what the government supplies? Or is everyone too busy whining about how America doesn’t give enough? At what point does it become clear that the world’s expectations of what America owes them is so outrageous that there will never be enough to satisfy them? When do we say “enough” and stop trying to meet those expectations?

    If Thais like the anonymous poster here have time to quibble over whether America is the largest source of relief aid, apparently I have overestimated the urgency of the situation and my donation isn’t needed after all.

    If Sri Lanka can afford to turn away help from Israeli soldiers, then surely they don’t need my $25.

    You want aid? Here’s the best aid anyone can supply: get rid of your corrupt economic and political systems that keep your nations dirt-poor and veritably lacking the resources to cope with natural disasters.

  48. I found this link on another blog… I’m writing in from singapore and saw the local media using the Phuket footage…

    Most of these people were bewildered when they saw the waves coming in…

  49. Dover,

    Ur 2 cents are worth more than what you’ve expressed. Bravo!

    — “Here’s the best aid anyone can supply: get rid of your corrupt economic and political systems that keep your nations dirt-poor and veritably lacking the resources to cope with natural disasters.” —

    But this is a bit harsh on those poor ppl. We’re talking about ppl’s lives here and the donation/aid are all aimed for doing jz tiny bit to help and relieve them from their collosal misery.

    p/s: you’re lucky you never live in these so-called third-world country. Peace.

  50. Well wj, it may be harsh but sometimes the most effective medicine is. And that very prescription is the best way to minimize the impact of events like this and break the pattern of relying on aid from foreigners *after* the fact. Foreign aid is a disincentive to institute the reforms necessary to end reliance on foreign aid. Harsh? A little. Circular? maybe. Accurate? You bet.

  51. I was looking for some amateur video footage on google, this site turned out to be ranked 1st.

    I’m in Mauritius further down in the Indian Ocean, we escaped the natural calamity.

  52. Drover, try reading what’s in the posts. I was pointing out to someone that implied america was the biggest donner. It is irrelivent how much they give, the point was get your facts strait before you type! Did you read all of what I wrote? or just the first scentence?? And to resopnd to your statment about support money, Thailand dosent really need it, atleast not on the scale that indonesia and srilanka do, we have a very healthy economic situation (hence the USA’s deperation to have us sign a FTA.) In thailand it was mostly tourists that we’re killed. Very little was damaged other than beach side resorts and a few sparcly populated fishing vilages. As a forener living in thailand I see how much aid comes in objectivly, my home country isn’t suplying any more than the USA is but atleast they aren’t claiming to. The US has no obligation to assist any other country. But then don’t expect other countries to rally behind you when you have you next big war. (ps. thailand was one of those countries that follow you to your last war) As a net importing country the US relies on many of these 3rd world countries to keep your prices down. The reason the US government helps is because they have to maintain trade and good realations. THe reason that the public provides is because people are generaly good and generous. Don’t mistake your govenment’s motives with that of your fellow americans.

    Not everyone is looking for a peice of the “american pie” but if you want to claim you are the most generous, liberating, etc. country you can expect people to call you on it when you don’t live up to your claims.

    If you claim you are the stingiest, most self centered nation nobody expects anything of you(point nobody expects russia to donate or help but they don’t claim to be the worlds biggest humanitarian)

    If you got th the end of this post *bravo* now read through it one more time (spelling errors and all) Then think for one mnute(I know it seems like a long time) then come back with your GI-JOE attitude and let me have it.

  53. Now to put an end to this childish foolishness.

    Lot’s of people are in need right now, if you can you should help in some way. After all you never know when you may need assitance.

    All politics aside I am very impressed with the way so many countries have come together to offer aid in such a short amount of time.

    This is my last post, so have a good new year and be safe.

  54. To the guys who are comparing these waves to the tsunamis in movies, the tsunamis in the movies such as Deep Impact or the James Bond film (where Bond surfs the wave) are actually megatsunamis, a very rare form of tsunami that is caused not by earthquakes but by landslides (any large displacement of water, so a meteor as well). These waves are higher then 100 meters and can reach much higher then that still, such as the one in Alaska in the 50’s that was 520 meters high.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megatsunami

    My thoughts are with the families of the dead.

  55. Along with the tsunamis, the earthquake also moved the earth slightly off its axis and moved some islands over 60 feet. The immediate results include having a day that is 3 microseconds shorter and a need for new maps for some geographical areas. The long term effects are unpredictable, just as the tsunamis were generally not expected.

    Good resource at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake

  56. As it started I thought it was just a wave but as it started sweeping things on its way it became a dangerous one. Tonnes of iron and wood chunks to make it one hell of a load to thrash anything on its way. Ants!!! – To be Humans…

    God Bless 1/4 Earth…May be lesser now…

  57. while certainnly the USA money was seemingly low. However it was at the time the number chosen based on the projections of the moment. As everything becomes more evident the US will indeed give more. Besides this single event, the US gov. gives more aid to various nations more than all the other nations combined each year. So stick that where it belongs. This is a truely awful event indeed. Certainly for proof posotive that there is no god. At lewast the all knowing and seeing and powerful one as descrbed in modern religion

  58. It is not possible 2 comprehend the impact of a natural disaster of this sort from watching it on video tape or being there when it happened. It is after it is over and the damage is in our faces, that we understand how bad it is. The responsible thing is to do all u can to help the countries hit. They really need all the help they can get as they are not as fortunate as rich countries like the US, and they are is desperate need of medical and food supplies. Find out ways to contribute to relif efforts now that u have seen mabye 1% of the damage caused by this horrific calamity.

    Vir-India

  59. This tragedy saddens us all. I’m from Singapore and though we were untouched by the quake and tsunamis, we feel much for our neighbours in SE Asia. Almost immediately, the people here are collecting funds and necessities for those suffering.

    Someone mentioned US not having enough coverage about things outside your borders, perhaps this site will shed more light on what’s the real situation like… Channel News Asia (CNA) gives a good coverage on what is happening around this region.

    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/

  60. Thank you for the opportunity to see part of what really happened. We had quite a scare with a friend on Phi Phi Island but he is now in Bangkok resting, after he was placed on a boat in Krabi and headed out from there.

    What I feel from the above posts are people’s pain and guilt. You all have made very good arguments about important matters. But also understand you are hurting (me too) as there is so little that we as individuals can do right now. Feeling powerless can produce blame. However, aid appears to be at hand and many agencies and governments will step up, regardless of intention. What really matters is that we keep faith in our neighbors, our world and ourselves, because there is no magic wand out there to make post disasters vanish.

    We are the survivors for now, embrace your fortune and let’s do what we can, however small the personal or financial contribution. Stay powerful!

  61. Amazing, almost as moving as 9/11. People will remember this for years to come. Me thoughts are with the many families that lost loved ones. Good will and peace on earth to all.

  62. This footage is unbelievable. It makes you sit up and realise how lucky we are in Australia not to fall victims to such natural disasters of that magnitude. Its great to see that someone is showing the whole footage and not just snippets. Pitty though that I couldn’t get koh_lanta_thailand.avi (11MB) to play.

  63. Some of you guys are acting like real dunderheads, you know that? How about we discuss this situation with the reverence it deserves – both for the power of nature and devastation of life.

  64. I sympathize to all that have died that day and to their family. This is life itself, you’ll never know when your time come. I never want to see this kind of things happened to someone or to my family. But this kind of footage(s) brings reality on things that can happen to all of us. Let just hope their family can cope up with these and to go on with these lives.

  65. It is absolutely amazing to see these different videos of the tsunamis hitting various places in southeast asia. My entire life, I have always wondered what it would be like to witness such an event. Coupled with the incredible awe of seeing such forces of nature that are completely beyond our control is the feeling of utter sadness for what these poor people have gone through and will continue to go through for years to come. The loss is staggering. I suffered damage during the northridge earthquake in 1994 and by comparison, that was a “walk in the park” compared to these tsunamis. I realize that some think it almost ghoulish to see these videos. However, I see nothing wrong in wanting to witness such incredible forces of nature. It is normal human curiosity. And it is also human nature to help those in need. Therefore, I urge any of you reading this to send a donation to help. Amazon.com has a link directly on their homepage.

  66. Really a terrible event. Nat and I have donated £40 ($76) toward fixing the places up for the locals of the countries and taking care of those affected…please do the same.

    Rick and Nat – Islington, London

  67. I came on here to view clips of the tragedy. After reading the posts I’m utterly embarrassed to be an American. If anyone wonders why we can’t go abroad without hostility…

    And if if you support the war in Iraq or not, it’s hard to watch this stuff and then scratch your head when the US says it’s going to be difficult to come up with the money. Boys, when the ship comes in for us, don’t expect anyone to come to our aid.

  68. Gracias por vuestro servicio, en Chile estamos consternados por la muerte en las islas. La proliferacion de video camaras esta haciendo mas facil la compresion de eventos pero mas dificil la existencia de muchos. Creo que ver es la posibilidad de aprender, Chile es un pais que es una costa y esta muy cerca de poder vivir algo igual.

    Gracias

  69. Good Job & Good Collection.

    I dont know what is your aim for hosting these,

    But I can assure that some of the viewers will come forward to donate some thing for the victims.

    I request all to donate for a real cause and to the needies.

    I pray god not to happen again this kind of dammage.

  70. These video shots give me the creeps. Many thanks for sharing them. I just hope the local ecomony will be restored asap. Also, may this disaster us not distract from a senseless war that America still intends to win.

  71. This footage blew me a way, at first sight I was gasping, horrified, like I was right there too. I can’t believe how scary this must’ve been for these unfortunate people over there. I’m lucky to live in California, we don’t get tsunami’s….we get quake’s, but none as horrific as a tsunami can be.

  72. Hey All,

    Thanks for hosting these video’s. I actually got a glimpse of the Tsunami which hit our coast in chennai at 10.30 am , but i was not able to cover this event live on my digicam which i had unfortunately left at my office. Man the waves were awesome and would have ripped anything which would have come in its path. This was actually the third tsunami wave which hit on sunday. I actually missed the first two which was even more worst than this. My heart goes out to all the people who lost their lives and homes during this incident.

  73. Guys, have some respect, please.

    Regardless of race, colour or creed, we are all human beings and we are all connected somehow in the much bigger scheme of things… whether you like it, know it, or not. So, when many of us die, we all lose a little piece of our own humanity, our own existence.

    Be aware of your own indifferences… you can write whatever smart, inhumane comments you want, but remember that when you press send… they are your words sent out to the universe… and they will return.

    Sadie.

  74. Thanks for the amazing footage!! Lets all try help as best we can.

    And to all you bickering fools – Put some energy into doing some good, and pull your thumb from your ass and make a donation.

  75. in fairness to steve he just wanted to see the awesome size of nature, mentioned nothing about the human cost and in fairness we are all in awe otherwise we wont be posting any responses ive bet youve all seen the video and tv footing so does that also brand you the same way?

  76. Hope human beings realize that a slight fury of nature is enough to cause a catastrophe of such magnitude.Learn, think, and stop fighting among yourselves and value the gift of life.

  77. This is fear in its strongest form, the devastating strength and terror shown makes me get chills from my home in london !

    Hope that nothing like this is ever allowed to happen again.

  78. I live in Barbados and if something of this magnitude is to happen here, I believe you would be saying “There WAS once a beautiful island named Barbados.” 🙁

    I am very much saddened by these photos and videos. Especially what is happening in the world today.

    Thanks for the photos and the effort you putting into keeping us aware of what is happening on the Asian side of the world.

    Everyone is really touched in more ways than one by it.

    Kim

  79. lewie,

    I totally agree. It is human nature to want to view atrocities, whether they be natural or man made. The difference here is that, with 9/11 we were sheilded from seeing human beings in the “process of dying”. No film clips were ever made public of the people jumping (or landing for that matter) from the twin towers, but they exist. In these tsunami clips, we actually see human beings being pulled to their deaths… we see the dead being displayed to the media… this is what makes it so real to us. The media treats the atrocities that occur in other countries as if they don’t affect us in an emotional way, which makes these victims less “human” to some. I’ve been in tears for the last three days, but it has been an experience that will stick with me long after 9/11 is forgotten – because sites like this and the media have given me the ability to view the suffering these people must have experienced. It’s one thing to hear “I lost my child”… it’s another to actually see it happen.

  80. *** my greatest sympathy to the family of those victims on that said tragedy.”theres no such things in this world as permanent except changes.” i really understand the feelings of the family who has a relatives there on the said incident..,how they grave and move on.its so very hard,let us talk to god to not this things be happen again.its hard to lose someone we love.let just pray that god made things to be happened because he has a great plan for us allmen.things so happened so fast and cannot understand the way can,but let us be strong on facing this kind of matter,lets just be strong and keep the faith that god always here with us despite those tragedy….

  81. Sorry Billy, but “God” and I are going to have a serious discussion about this one. If this was some kind of “test” (as i was tought to believe in my catholic upbringing), I fail to see the point of it.

    We are here to fend for ourselves. While there may be an after-life, I must assume that our governor has no control over our physical lives. While you pray, I’ll keep working to improve mankind. Praying is easy, fixing the problem is hard work… and frankly, I am disgusted with the likes of people who think that they can get through life (and life can get through) with nothing more than prayer.

    You have the right to pray… in fact, I am greatful to those that do… but it takes more than prayer to get through life. “God” doesn’t like freeloaders any more than I do.

    Think I’m done for the night. Thanks for letting me vent. – James

  82. Lord have mercy…those kids who have lost their parents, those parents who’ve lost their children. We all are on our knees and pray…May God be with you…

  83. All you guys out there – dig deep in your pockets and donate as much money for all those millions of poor people in countries that can ill afford such horrendous calamity. PLEASE dont’t stop giving. PLEASE don’t forget them.

  84. On a parting note…

    Yes, I am very saddened by all of this. No one deserves what these people have endured and will endure for the next few years. All I am saying is that we in the US are so brainwashed that we no longer capeable of seeing the human side of issues unless we have a video in our face. Don’t we all believe that there are similar situations in Iraq (caused by MAN, not nature)? I am now looking at a small Island called “Chilong” (bad spelling) that used to house over 137 thousand people… there are less than 100 people left there!!!! Our media has given this community less than 10 minutes of coverage in the last 24 hours… and there was almost 10 minutes on the war in Iraq… come on!!! I am so tired of this “it’s all about me” attitude simply because we want to pay less than 2 bucks for a gallon of gas. Hope we’re all proud of ourselves. BTW… the new report is $37 million from the US gov, and almost $2 million from the private sector in aid to Asia. Woooo-Hoooo!!!! This is so, so very sad.

    Don’t like it? Turn the chanel. Janet is about to expose another tit (by the way, our government has spent more on FCC regualation enforcement in the last year than we will ever give to these Asian countries).

    Proud to be leaving…

    James

  85. What I find amazing is that with the digital recorders spreading all over we can actually see everything like we’ve been there :

    – 9/11

    – War in Iraq & prisons

    – This

    And without media filtering

    Now I’d rather not be there when it happens, I’m not really comfortable with dead people all over the place.

  86. Thanks for hosting this site. For me seeing the videos firsthand brings home the enormity of the human suffering. Just hearing the numbers is numbing. Seeing individuals swept away, or throngs on the beach moments before it hit puts things in perspective. That fight I had with my wife last night is nothing…..I grabbed my 2 yr old daughter and held her with the sadness that so many had lost theirs….and I don’t want to hear any shit about how this is not all about me. It is about all of us.

    On a different note, Bush has blown a tremendous opportunity to come out with real moral authority and lead the world. We, as a nation, need to show that the United States is not completely composed of war-mongering evangelists. We can spend billions on the war in Iraq….25 or 35 million is it for this tragedy. Not enough oil in Sumatra….

  87. It’s almost impossible for the human mind to comprehend such a tragedy.

    I don’t even know if prayers could do such a horrible event justice.

  88. I used to live in thailand, and know phuket and patong beach very well. It was the party street along the beach in phuket, and it was amazing. Seeing this footage is horrific. I only wish i could be there now to help these people.

    Thanks for posting these, we only see parts of this through other media,

    Dimitri

  89. TERRORIFICO ESPELUZNANTE

    EEUU TU PODER SIRVE DE ALGO O SOLO VAS A MIRAR COMO LOS DEMAS AYUDAN Y DESPUES DICEN QUE LO DEL 11 DE SEPT FUE UNA TRAGEDIA PARA LA HUMANIDAD

    BUSH PUDISTE AVISARLES ALGO Y COMO SIEMPRE LOS DEJASTES SOLOS

    dIOS NO TE OLVIDES DE LOS QUE AUN TIENEN VIDA RECONSTRUYAN ESA SITUACION YA

    NO ES SOLO MANDAR COLCHONES POLITICOS ACTUEN ENSERIO.

  90. No comprendo much espanol, es possible en ingles. Pienso que no hay muchas personas aqui que pueden comprender espanol. Gracias amigo,

    Dimitri

  91. My god, this is the worst tragedy ever happened to mankind since. My condolences to all who have faced this unexpected disaster and perished, especially those children. Imagine you are there, not knowing it was a Tsunami….

  92. These videos are something special. While is it a little grotesque to watch just horrifying things on tape, it helps to give an understanding of just what has happened. It is easy to say what happened is a disaster, but few people have any idea what actually happend. If you want to know, first hand, a little bit more about what happened, these clips are a way to bring you closer to the disaster, and in fact may make some more “simpathetic” to the disaster.

    thanks for the post…

  93. Oh, I forgot to mention: In the one video it shows a couple swept away while trying to hold on to the railing. It’s been reported that the man is alright, but his wife is still missing.

  94. We watch as the earth kicks the poorest nations, and wonder what is going on. Now we may see the start of worldwide co-operation? World War Four? Keep living, and be aware of how lucky you are is all I can say.

  95. People lighten up on the BS like, the media is not covering it enough, or the US and the west is not contributing enough, or it is being turned into a political situation.

    I heard about it sunday afternoon on MSNBC’s web site and have been seeing updates as the news comes in. Are aid contributions supposed to be a competion, “Lets see who can give the most winner gets braging rights!”? When you say this you turn it into a politcal situation.

    Kevin

  96. To the few on this posting that say they are embarrased to be an American. Feel free to use your freedom to move your a*s out of here!

    It’s okay to be against the war in Iraq

    It’s okay to be against what this current administration is doing abroad or at home.

    It’s a free right you have to do so without being shot or whisked away like in so many other countries if you were to spout off like this in some foreign nations.

    Feel blessed that you live in a country that if you were on the coast here and a tsunami was coming, we have early warning systems to save “ungratefuls” like some of you. And before some of you accuse me of saying being an American is better, that’s not what I’m implying, but you certainly are blessed to have the freedom to speak, travel and act as you do.

    The U.S. will give much more than the original 37 million. Being an American, you make enough to reach in your pockets and help make a donation too. The majority of citizens in the world don’t even have that luxury.

    Let’s get the focus back on helping and sympathizing with the victims of this terrible tragedy, no matter what nation they’re a citizen of…

  97. Shawn says, “Drover, try reading what’s in the posts. I was pointing out to someone that implied america was the biggest donner. It is irrelivent how much they give, the point was get your facts strait before you type!”

    Well Shawn, I wasn’t actually talking to you (unless you were the anonymous Thai poster whose post has since been removed). But I’ll respond to your basic premise anyway.

    You’re right. It is irrelevent how much Americans give, either as a proportion of total worldwide contribution, a proportion of GDP, or in overall dollars, or by whatever yardstick the wannabe academians want to use. (But said irrelevence hasn’t stopped you from sweating the details anyway.) My point is that Americans shouldn’t have to be put in a position to defend how much we donate. Even before we were finished assessing how much aid to supply, and while phone banks at the Red Cross and other charities were ringing off the hook with people eager to send checks, we stood accused by international bureaucrats, on record, of being stingy. That sentiment was then echoed around the world by armchair wealth redistributionists (such as those found here) who always have a big heart with other people’s money. It seems to happen time and again — no matter how much aid we supply, there’s someone there to thank us with a middle finger because we’re not giving enough.

    Most Americans give because we want to and because we can, not because we’re looking for recognition or because we feel like we’re in some sort of international bragging rights contest. But there are some of us who have grown tired of defending how much we give even while we’re in the middle of opening our wallets.

    You can complain about my “G.I. Joe” attitude — whatever that means — all day for all I care. My attitude is made possible by the jaw-dropping ingratitude of people like yourself who nitpick the details of how much Ameicans give even as our resources are streaming in to help your countrymen. A simple “thanks” would have gone a lot further.

  98. It’s times like these that raises one question where has Humanity gone? People I am but a simple person with little needs in life but to hopefully one day raise beautiful children therby contributing to the survival of our species. Now I ask of you is this necessary, we are one people… because we breath the same air drink the same water, love, hate, laugh, cry and most of all feel. Bottom line is we live on one Earth does not matter who donated what when and why, we live on one Earth and it’s time we take an active stand start working together and build a global community. It was just a chance that we were born where we were, hell I could be writing from England, US, Mexico at this point it does not matter. To live is to Love, simple philosophy.

  99. What’s wrong with the Koh_Lanta_Thailand clip? I got the audio but the video was just a bunch of psychadelic junk

  100. Thank you for making these available. After all, we learn in scenarios. NEver again shall somebody watch the retreating waters and just think “wow, that’s odd”. We all have to learn from this.

    What a tragedy. THanks to all who contribute. And remember: a donation really only counts if it hurts your wallet. For some people the pain threshold is $5, for others it is at $500. Anyway, give what you can.

    And folks, please stop playing your little political ego games. Around 100.000 people have died, more are dying, 5 Million are in acute danger.

    I hope you’re dry and safe…

    Tom (remove the DEV NULL from my mail address)

    may all beings find peace

  101. Oh God, It’s breathtaking, what can you do seriously, two people one metre away are gonna die, to move in towards them would have been suicide, I hate to feel helpless as does everyone else. The Ocean scares the Sh@t out of me already, now I’ve seen this I think I might have to move inland.

    PS I’m Australian, Bob Geldof I still owe a smack in the nose for Michael Hutchence.

    Come and Visit us soon.

  102. I dunno Doug, maybe you don’t have the necessary codec. I couldn’t view it either but the other videos were plenty.

    After watching the videos I can understand why this thing took so many people by surprise. It wasn’t 50-foot waves that came roaring in and crashing down on top of people and buildings and what-not. They came rolling in rather gently considering the damge they did. And they kept rolling in and kept rolling in and kept rolling…. notice how the water just keeps creeping higher and higher, rather than just all crashing in at once. No wonder people didn’t take it seriously at first. Just amazing.

  103. Well I’m certainly not surprised that someone managed to slip in the “Blame Bush” angle. I’m only surprised it took a full day.

    As for the videos, they have done much to heighten my understanding of what happened, why the initial reactions were inadequate and why so many people lost their lives. It’s chilling to know that a lot of the people you see in those videos are now dead because they vastly underestimated the force of nature as it roared to shore. And now I can say that I might very well have done the same thing if I were there and I’d be dead too.

  104. Thanks for these links. It’s a little bit cold, almost bizarre to watch these videos showing death, despair and so much loss, but I agree with the one who said that these videos bring us closer to those who lost their lives and others who lost almost everything.

    Let it remember us of how many lucky we are. Let’s share this luck with ’em: contribute to any of these organizations.

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/asiapcf/12/28/tsunami.aidsites/

    Doesn’t matter if countries are helping or not [or if they’re givin’ away a lot or not], any contribution from us will help for sure. Remember, your five bucks can buy some water [for a example], priceless at this moment.

    [and sorry for my awful english…]

  105. Thanks for these. Unbelievable horror. Glad to see it rather than the same old canned images on the news.

  106. I’ve always felt very lucky. The country I come from–Panama, look it up in a map–is nowhere near a major tectonic plate, and only recently have we seen our share of natural disasters, like floods this year in a scale which we haven’t experienced before. Seems to me that the world in its constant change is reminding us how small we really are. This videos can only hint at the magnitude of the tragedy, which at last count has claimed 114,000 lives and that number is expected to raise in the next days…It’s so sad. I used to think what it would be like, you know, a tsunami in modern times, it’s horrible…May God rest theirs souls…

  107. What I find so chilling is that it’s all happening on a gorgeous, sunny day. When there’s a hurricane or something, it gets stormy, you have the idea “Maybe I should go for higher ground”, etc. But here, they’re all just standing around on a beautiful beach with no idea that anything could be coming, and then suddenly waves start rolling in. They don’t look that big, and then next thing you know they’ve flooded where you’re standing.

    I’m not surprised that the people taping hung around until the last minute, not believing they could get affected. Even on the Titanic, many passengers refused to leave the “safety” of the giant, lighted ship for those tiny lifeboats on the dark, open ocean. Then by the time they realized the ship really was sinking, it was too late for many. It’s hard to have perspective on dangerous situations when you’re stuck in the middle of them.

  108. What’s amazing is this just doesn’t look all that destructive..not like I’ve always pictured a tidal wave..20 or 30 feet tall crashing down. But I’ve spent many hours of my life surfing and the power of water is just staggering, especially millions of tons of it. I guess people just got swept away, trapped in buildings, knocked out by debris, and drowned. It is beyond comprehension.

  109. Thank you very much ! This is really unbelievable. Does anyone know if the 2 persons that are disappearing in the phuket video are still alive?

  110. Does anyone have any information on the surrival of the people who shot these videos? I hope that they got away and are safe.

  111. I pray for the killed children who never come back an their parents who will never be happy again. I pray for those who survived and those who have not.

  112. Hey There Fred

    Someone Said earlier the man made it but the wife was not found yet. The poor guy who tried to help them. I’m gonna carry rope with me from now on. God help them all!

  113. Those are something else. :[

    It’s so sad to see those 2 men getting carried away in that one clip.

    BTW, these clips are also being hosted over here. Just thought I’d give ya the heads up so you can ease on your bandwidth.

  114. Wow! The footage is incredibly horrific and unreal. I lived in Hawaii and have seen and experienced the power of big waves. However, the shear volume of water behind these waves is just unimaginable. It’s apocalyptic.

  115. Juan – Actually Panama is still situated on the “Pacific Rim of Fire”. It is as susceptible to tsunamis as any other Pacific Rim location. See map: Pacific Rim

    I saw an earlier post about California being safe. This is also not true. Another thing to keep in mind is the vast distance these waves can travel. Even if the earthquake did not originate near you, the effects of the tsunami can still be devastating.

  116. And the number is now over 114,000. 🙁

    And still, all I can say is Damn! I just wish there was something I could do. Not just donate money, altho that is what is needed, but more.

    Damn.

  117. The death toll will climb to over 200,000 and possibly 300,000 in the next few weeks. The search for bodies may never be over, due to the crocs and sharks that may dispose of bodies yet unrecovered. This compounded with the secondary diseases of cholera and other water borne diseases that will spread. I will be helping with the recovery effort in 2 weeks. I feel so sad for this part of the world…

  118. How did so many camcorders survive this flooding? That amazes me. If I’d been standing there taking footage and then realized the it was a surge that seemed to have no cap to it, I’d have turned to run, placing the camcorder on a bed or table as I fled. It’s amazing some of these people had the presence of mind to grasp what was happening and that their camcorders would allow the outside world to know what had happened. Still, amazing the camcorders didn’t end up in the drink in the process of the quick.

    Are there any “before” pictures of these areas captured in the videos? It’s one thing to see an aftermath, but I think it helps you really grasp its magnitude when you see what was really there before.

  119. As bad as it is, I think we dodged the big bullet. The islands north northwest of the epicenter took the brunt of the wave heading that way, and protected Bangladesh. Bangladesh has a population of 140 million, Its land is mostly between 12 feet below sea level and 10 feet above sea level. If it had hit Bangladesh with the strength it hit the rest of the Indian Ocean basin, we would be talking about deaths in the millions to tens of millions right now. As little consolation as that might be. If the quake had hit another 100 miles further out to sea, the headlines would read 10 milllion dead, not the 120,000 we find now. In the vastness of grief, thank God for small miracles. Weep for the dead. Help the living. May we find in our collective grief and helpfulness, a better way to work together in the future.

  120. I would like to give all my sympathy and condolences to anyone effected by these horrific tsunamis. I can’t even begin to comprehend what all of those people are going through.

  121. I feel almost ashamed of myself for my curiosity in watching this distaster but I thank you for posting these videos, I’ve watched them all will absolute shock and amazement, my thoughts and prayers obviously to the victims and the survivors alike.

    Astonishing.

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