Various News from PATA Members and Contacts | 28 DEC 2004
(All dates/times indicated is Bangkok time, unless otherwise indicated)
Please note that only some of the eastern coast line of South India has been impacted and fortunately only a few of our tourist resorts in Mahabalipuram and Pondicherry have been marginally affected. The affected areas are:
- Andaman & Nicobar Islands (nearest to the epicenter)
- Parts of coast line of Tamil Nadu State which includes Chennai ( two districts most impacted are Nagapattinam and Cuddalore ).
- Kerala – backwaters have not been impacted, however, some areas in Kolam and Allapazu districts have been affected. Tourism related activities in Kerala are totally normal. No tourist or any tourist destination has been affected till now. Till now no loss of life to domestic or international tourists have been reported.
- Some coastal area of Pondicherry has also been impacted with some damage to only one hotel property.
- Some parts of coast line of Andhra Pradesh have been affected.
- It is indeed very disheartening that there has been a tremendous loss of human lives, specially fishermen and villagers living near the coast line. From tourism industry perspective, however, the saving grace is that resorts have not been affected. Other geographical regions of these Southern Coastal Areas are unaffected and tourist traffic is normal. Other States in India remain totally unaffected.
Source: PATA India Chapter Date: Dec 28, 1900
Sumatera is a huge, 1.700 kilometer-long island, which is the world's fifth largest island. It is divided into 8 provinces (the province of Naggroe Aceh Darussalam, North Sumatera, West Sumatera, Riau, Jambi, Bengkulu, South Sumatera and Lampung).
The epicenter of the 9.0 magnitude quake was located in the Indian Ocean, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) off the West Coast of Nanggroe Aceh Darusalam Province (Maulaboh Regency) at a depth of about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles).
Maulaboh Regency is about 432 km from Medan - the capital city of North Sumatera via Sidikalang - mountainous and sparsely populated country of North Sumatera Border, which is famous for coffee growing area.
The quake also shook most areas of North Sumatera's province and lasted for about 4 minutes with no report of casualties and damages, except on the coastal areas across parts of North Sumatera.
The hardest-hit areas (many casualties and very serious damages) are:
The province of Naggroe Aceh Darussalam; Maulaboh Regency, Banda Aceh The Capital City, which is about 607 km from Medan, Weh Island, Simuelue Island and other coastal areas of the West & East Coast of the province. The province of North Sumatera; coastal areas of the West Coast of the province (Pantai Cermin & Sibolga) and Nias Island (included the tiny island of Sirombu & Hinako).
While other provinces have no report of the quake.
The main tourism facilities and objects as well as public facilities in North Sumatera (Medan, Bukit Lawang, Berastagi, Parapat & other mainland towns), West Sumatera (Bukit Tinggi, Padang & other mainland towns) and other provinces remain intact.
Source: Taufiq Brata & Pacto Medan teamDate: Dec 28, 1550
As far I know in Indonesia, only North Sumatera (Aceh and around it) is affected. Java and Bali are not affected at all, but there are lots of queries from Europe about their families and clients in Bali. Therefore I conveyed a message that Bali and the epicentre is about 3.5 hours flight by plane and we don't feel any shake in Bali at all. Maybe you can convey the same message so that tourists are not worried to come to Bali.
Source: Al Purwa, Chairman PATA Bali ChapterDate: Dec 27, 3037
I was at Ngapali Beach yesterday when the whole thing happened. We were at the waterfront. There was no major impact at Ngapali Beach. There was a bit of a shaking only for a few minutes.
The low tide was much lower than usual and when the whole flood far outside in the Bay of Bengal passed, we had for 3-5 minutes a sudden drop in sea level of around 5-6 metres, so that boats were on the dry ground for some minutes.
Fish were alive on the dry beach and villagers ran to catch the fish. After 3-5 minutes the water came back and everyone ran up again. Two small fishing boats capsized.
Source: Oliver Esser Soe Thet, General Manager, Bagan Hotel / Laguna LodgeDate: Dec 27, 2050
Most of the Maldivian tourist resorts have been fortunate to be spared the brunt of the Tsunami as a result of the earthquake off the west coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia on December 26, 2004.
The exclusive popular island resorts of the Maldives are open for business as usual, except for about 6 resorts that have registered considerable damage. Tourists who were on the affected resorts have been evacuated and they are now safe and secure. Many of them have now been flown to their home countries.
The Male' International Airport is operational except for landings at night. Charter flights are resuming their regular schedules to the Maldives. The seaplane transfer service from the Airport to the resorts is expected to be on track in the next 2 to 3 days. Whilst, boat transfers schedules are back to normal.
The Ministry of Tourism of the Maldives has worked closely with the resorts, tour operators, travel agents and the airlines to keep the tourism industry running smoothly.
- Male' International Airport is now operational.
- Three tourists have been reported dead from two different resorts, all are from the United Kingdom.
- There are over 17,000 tourists in the Maldives.
- All the resort islands in the Maldives have been contacted by the Ministry of Tourism and there are no reports of further major tourist casualties. However many resorts have reported damages to their infrastructure.
- The tourists in some of the worst effected resorts are being shifted to other resorts and the capital Male'.
- Most of the resort islands are in operation.
Source: PATA Maldives Chapter Date: Dec 28, 1300
Regarding the areas impacted in Myanmar, first we heard of archipelagos in Southern most part of Myanmar. Due to earth quake, Tha-nin-tha-yi division, Yangon division, Bago division, Aye-ya-wad-dy dividsion, Rakkhine state and southern Shan state have a lot of buildings collapsed. Due to tidal waves, 17 villages at the sea shore are perished. 200 people homeless, 45 injured, 34 lost their life and 25 missing. It's the latest news. Hope our mail will be helpful for you.
Source: KST International Travels & Tours, Yangon, MyanmarDate: December 28, 1620
There have been no casualties or injuries to guests or staff at any of the Taj Hotels in the affected areas particularly in the Maldives and Sri Lanka. Our operations at Taj Fisherman's Cove in Chennai, the 3 Taj hotels in Sri Lanka and Taj Coral Reef in Maldives are functioning normally.
In an effort to enable restoration of all facilities to Taj standards, we will be temporarily suspending operations at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives for a period of about two months. As a precautionary measure, we have offered to provide alternate transport to our guests who would like to reach Chennai, India. We have chartered an aircraft, which is due to land this evening in Male to bring back guests and our staff. At Chennai, we are making arrangements to assist them for their onward journeys.
All other Taj hotels across India are unaffected and are functioning with business as usual.
We are deeply saddened by the devastation caused due to the tsunamis across South and South East Asia including Tamil Nadu and parts of coastal south east India. We continue to extend our full support to local authorities.
Source: Sarita Hegde Roy, Director of Public Relations, Taj Hotels Resorts and PalacesDate: Dec 27, 2152
Accommodation damage assessment from Asian Trails
PHUKET / KOH YAO
- Amari Coral Beach Resort Phuket: has been hit and sustained damage, hotel will be closed for renovation.
- Banthai Beach: closed until 03 January
- Burasari: closed until further notice
- Central Karon Village: NOT affected
- Chedi Phuket: Beachfront cottages, Deluxe Category Cottages and the Beach Restaurant are badly damaged. It will take a couple of months to put them back to order. They still accommodate guests in all other categories.
- Deevana Patong: damaged, the hotel doesn’t recommend the guests to stay
- Dusit Laguna: in general operational, but pool and 1 restaurant are damaged, they don’t know yet how long renovation will take exactly, beach is still OK
- Holiday Inn Phuket: affected (Main Wing, Ground Floor damaged), Asian Trails/Kuoni office have been heavily damaged. No electricity at the moment.
- JW Marriott Phuket: Swimming Pools, Pool Bars and the Beach Front Seafood restaurant will be temporarily closed and are expected to reopen by 31 December. The resort is operating under full power and is equipped with fresh water. F&B facilities are open and available to all guests. The JW Phuket were extremely helpful giving assistance to tourists in transit to the airport and to Help centers. Thank you!
- Kamala Bay: unable to operate, lobby and restaurants are damaged
- Kata Thani: Thani Wing: some of the ground floor rooms, garden, swimming pools and restaurant are affected. They still accommodate guests in the other rooms.
- Bhuri Wing: has not been affected
- Koh Yao Island Resort - damaged and closed
- Laguna Beach Resort: NOT affected
- Leelawadee Phuket: some damages in the lobby, other floors are OK
- Paradise Koh Yao: not affected at all, NO damages
- Patong Beach Hotel: Banana Restaurant / Lobby / Swimming Pool affected
- Patong Merlin: closed
- Phuket Arcadia: NOT affected
- Phuket Orchid: NOT affected
- Royal Meridien Phuket Yacht Club: in general OK, just some damages in lower areas
- Sheraton Grande Laguna: 6 Ground Floor Ocean rooms are affected, they are closed until further notice due to water damage. Chao Lai, their Thai Restaurant, will be closed until 31 January for cleaning. They have made arrangements for Market Place restaurants to offer their Thai menu on a daily basis effective immediately. The beach area is undergoing extensive cleaning and will return to full operation on Tuesday, 28 December. All buildings are completely safe and not at risk.
- Trisara Resort Phuket: hotel facilities suffered only minor damage to the main beach pool, a few beachside sundeck lounges were washed away to the sea, decorative jars broken. Restaurants, Bar, Kitchen and all Pool Villas are UNAFFECTED. The main beach pool is expected to become operational in about a week.
- Twinpalms Phuket: all systems except telephone and fax are OK. Temporary phone and fax number: +66 76 271 612
- Pimalai Resort & Spa: has some damages at Beach Restaurant and Villas near the beach
- Royal Lanta Resort: 25% damaged, swimming pool and part of the restaurant, they are still able to accommodate guests.
- Twin Bay Resort Koh Lanta: 100% damaged, closed until the end of 2005
PHI PHI ISLAND
- Phi Phi Island Village: still running their business as usual most other properties are damaged
KHAO LAK / KHAO SOK
- Khao Lak Paradise: villas are gone.....
- Khao Lak Resort: damaged (at least the lower floor)
- Khao Lak Seaview: damaged
- Khao Sok Riverside Lodge: NOT affected
- Le Meridien Khao Lak: the lower part is gone, especially the villas
- Mukdara Khao Lak: closed until further notice
- Sofitel Magic Lagoon: badly damaged
- Theptharo: badly damaged
- Best Western Aonang Bay Resort: NOT affected
- Emerald Garden Krabi: NOT affected
- Krabi Seaview Resort: NO damage
Sadly, we still have not been able to locate two of our staff in Khao Lak.
I would like to thank our Management, staff and guides who worked very long shifts to try and help as much as possible.
Source: Luzi Matzig, ASIAN TRAILS Date: Dec 28, 0010
Amadeus travel agencies in Phuket directly affected by the disaster are all up and running already, including two temporarily out of the Amadeus Phuket crisis centre. Also, of all of Amadeus operations in Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand, including offices in certain of the affected areas, none have been directly affected and Amadeus has suffered no casualties or injuries as a direct result this disaster.
Amadeus would like to extend its deepest condolences to the thousands of families that have been affected by this tragedy.
On a region-wide basis Amadeus is working closely with national tourist offices, airlines and travel agency communities in the affected areas as well as within the broader community as crisis recovery strategies are implemented.
Initial steps have been taken in southern Thailand. THAI-Amadeus is cooperating with network provider TT&T to establish disaster relief centres for tourists. Among other services the centres will be linked by a free call number to a dedicated Amadeus call centre in Bangkok with professional staff on standby to deliver short messages to family and friends. Following discussions with Thai Airways regarding the waiver of ticket restrictions, THAI-Amadeus has sent broadcast messages to Thai travel agents unaffected by the disaster, to assist tourists in changing bookings.
THAI-Amadeus has also established a crisis centre at its offices in Phuket, now supported by a contingent of THAI-Amadeus staff from other offices, for affected travel agents and coordinated with IATA BSP Thailand to have agents up and running as soon as possible.
Source: Sebastian BeaumontDate: Dec 27, 1937