ONE YEAR LATER
Thailand's Response to the Tsunami & the Contribution
of International Partners
PART 1 THE IMPACT OF THE TSUNAMI
On 26 December 2004, Thailand was hit by the greatest
Visible on television screens across the world, the
natural disaster in its history. A massive earthquake
waves devastated the resorts of Khao Lak, Phi Phi
measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale occurred off the
Island and Phuket, which were teeming with interna
west coast of Northern Sumatra, creating giant tsunami
tional visitors at the height of the tourist season.
waves that devastated the shores of India, Indonesia,
Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Its impact
But beyond the glare of the media and away from the
was felt as far away as Africa, 8,000 kilometers away
tourist areas, the tsunami also had a devastating impact
from the epicentre. The waves ravaged the Andaman
on over 400 local fishing communities along the Thai
Coast of Thailand causing unprecedented death and
coast, many poor and struggling to make ends meet
destruction in six coastal provinces with a combined
even before the tsunami. As a result of tsunami, over
population of 1.9 million. The tsunami affected 25 dis
100,000 local people whose livelihoods depended on
tricts, 95 tambons and 407 villages, of which 47 were
the tourism industry were suddenly without employment.
almost completely destroyed.
Many returned to their home villages, relying on tradi
tional coping mechanisms in times of hardship. The
Table 1: Affected Areas
tsunami destroyed lives, houses and livelihoods on a
scale never before seen in Thailand.
I Human Impact
It is estimated that the number of people who lost a family
member or home reached 100,000.
Death Toll and Injuries
The death toll from the tsunami in Thailand ran into
Source: DDPM website, October 2005
thousands. The total reached 8,212 persons (counting