Series of 8 photos showing what happened -- taken from a hotel in Patong, and from news.com.au
Cascade ... the view from the photographer's hotel at Patong on the Thai Island of Phuket as water from the first tsunami laps up / Hellmut Issels
Gathering power ... massive palms in the water's path of fury are swmped as its momentum builds through the trees and to the hotel, carrying beach furniture and debris along / Hellmut Issels
Horror ... a Thai man clings to trees and anything he can grab onto in a vain bid to survive as the mass of water surges, builds and sweeps everything before it / Hellmut Issels
Taken ... the man begins to lose his fight as tonnes of water dump on the beach. He is no longer able to cling to safety and is swept away / Hellmut Issels
Doomed ... The man struggles to keep his head above water as he is buffetted by the currents. His body was found a kilometre away / Hellmut Issels
Flow of fear ... the huge body of water from the tsunami reaches its peak, rushes and swirls before unleashing even more relentless power and destruction on the beach resort / Hellmut Issels
Washed away ... the epic volume of water starts to recede, spelling even more peril for anyone and anything in its path as it smashes it way through the island and back out to sea / Hellmut Issels
Calm ... aside from the smashed huts and uprooted trees, sunny, picturesque Phuket belies the havoc wreaked as a result of the worst earthquake in 40 years / Hellmut Issels
I think this Hellmut Issels is quite lucky to have actually survived this.
Just look at this other photo of his.
[Edited 2004-12-28 17:46:08]