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(Netscape)   Animals seemed to sense the coming Tsunami and headed to higher ground   ( divider line
    More: Weird  
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22767 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Dec 2004 at 4:09 PM (12 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2004-12-29 09:51:53 AM  
from what I've read, being in the water when it hit was the safest place.

Your dog wants scuba gear?
2004-12-29 09:52:32 AM  
Yup, my bud can verify this one. The dog didn't make it to higher ground though.
2004-12-29 09:53:30 AM  
Here's my buds firsthand account of the tidal wave from his beach house in Phuket, Thailand.
2004-12-29 09:55:45 AM  
Note thats a TotalFark link, so liters can't read it. If anyone wants I will copy and paste it here.
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2004-12-29 10:01:18 AM  
"Maybe what we think is true, that animals have a sixth sense," Wijeyeratne said.

Maybe animals make better use of the senses they have.
2004-12-29 10:03:59 AM  
The dog of my childhood taught me to listen with my feet for vibrations of cars coming up the driveway. I suspect something similar here.
2004-12-29 10:05:43 AM  
Or maybe the fish got'em.
2004-12-29 10:05:50 AM  
Maybe animals don't hang around beaches because they tend to be dangerous and there is nothing there to eat or drink anyway.
2004-12-29 10:09:50 AM  
If you start to see to water recede further than you've ever seen it, then it's time to move your ass to higher ground, fast.
2004-12-29 10:36:50 AM  
Makes me wonder why all the animals (racoons, deer coyotes, skunks) just sit there and drown when TVA floods the bottoms on the farm.
2004-12-29 10:48:00 AM  
yeah, when i'm at the beach, you have to beat the elephants, buffalo and deer off with sticks, there are so many.

(no, i don't - this is silly)
2004-12-29 10:56:56 AM  

Makes me wonder why all the animals (racoons, deer coyotes, skunks) just sit there and drown when TVA floods the bottoms on the farm.

that's not natural. they're tuned into mother gaia, not the TVA.
2004-12-29 11:15:21 AM  
Thank you for posting that. Your friend sounds like one interesting mofo. Buy him a few drinks for us next time you see him!
2004-12-29 11:15:26 AM  
Well, the animals probably didn't stop to stare at the wave about to kill them.

Curiosity killed the human.
2004-12-29 11:16:07 AM  
I just read on slashdot...

"an article from the Australian Spaceguard Survey about the need for a Tsunami warning system in the Indian Ocean. The author comments that tsunami warnings may not help much, as people often flock to the coastline to see the giant waves."

I think that after the final death count this may not be true anymore.
2004-12-29 11:42:19 AM  
Maybe they can fix the economy too.
2004-12-29 12:17:27 PM  
Animals headed for high ground, while human beings gathered at the beach to wonder where the water went.

How do we know we're so smart again? Cause we build stuff?
2004-12-29 04:01:32 PM  
So, like, dolphins in the mountains, or what?
2004-12-29 04:02:07 PM  
Here's my quasi-scientific viewpoint:

Most animals have a much greater sensitivity to subsonic frequencies (the kind generated by earthquakes). They would have heard/felt the quake and fled in fear. Animals naturally run "down wind," i.e. in the direction of the wind, and most of the time in coastal areas the wind is blowing in from the water. So their "run away" instinct took them away from the water and away from the tsunami danger, thus they survived and look a hell of a lot smarter than us humans.
2004-12-29 04:07:44 PM  
ZAZ: Maybe animals make better use of the senses they have.

That right there would be common sense. Which, like our other senses, seems to be greatly diminishing with our evolution as a species.
2004-12-29 04:12:32 PM  
2004-12-29 09:55:45 AM dsmo

Note thats a TotalFark link, so liters can't read it. If anyone wants I will copy and paste it here.

Please do so.
2004-12-29 04:13:29 PM  
This isn't news.

When the hurricanes were racing towards Florida this year all the ants started going into buildings carrying their eggs. They knew what was coming.
I watched fire ants climbing up the outside wall at work and go into a crack near the roof. It was kinda neat to watch. It was also kinda neat when I blasted them with a can of Raid roach and ant killer.
2004-12-29 04:13:57 PM  
Humans are animals too...
But I do remember the cat I was catsitting freaking out about the Seattle earthquake in 2001 before I ever felt it.
2004-12-29 04:14:57 PM  
Originally posted by dsmo to Totalfark (see what ya missin', ya cheapskates?):

2004-12-28 09:50:46 PM dsmo

I didn't want anyone to miss this one:

December 26th 2004 - I wake up to the sounds of my chandelier rattling and my whole house gently swaying. But I'm used to this in heavy winds. I live in a small wood bungalow raised 1.3 meters off the ground (that's 4 and half feet for the metric impaired). So I'm thinking, super heavy morning winds... But outside, I discover it's perfectly calm and sunny. It's 8:30am. I'm perplexed, chalk it up to a mild beer hangover having spent the previous Christmas eve out in Patong with Konrad (aka, Shwantz).

My neighbor Khun Nam is already tying one on solo with a fifth of cheap rice whiskey. My other neighbor Bobby is disheveled, ran his boat up some rocks and it's taking on water. In addition, his wallet's been stolen/lost... "I was given this string lucky charm bracelet from a monk in Chiang Mai, I took it off yesterday and now look at all the bad things that are happening to me..." Bobby had no idea how right he was. I head to breakfast before Bobby's bad luck rubs off on me.

After a relaxing breakfast overlooking the bay, I go home, get the computer going, all ready to get some work done, I have CNN on and pause to hear a story about an earthquake in Ache Sumatra Indonesia. I look at the map and think... "hmm, I didn't know it was that close to Phuket, I should go there some day". Never putting together that perhaps the reason I woke up with my house swaying was because I was feeling that earthquake, they are unheard of in this region. And I certainly didn't connect the dots to conclude... perhaps there is a gigantic freaking tidal wave heading my way.

"And the earthquake in Sumatra was measured at 8.9 on the Richter scale, and now back to you Dave and that gobbling story you've prepared on holiday Turkey dressings". If anyone at CNN is reading this, here is an idea... Next time you report on a 40 year record breaking 5th largest in history oceanic earthquake... you might consider reminding your viewers that huge freaking earthquakes and water don't mix. Saying so in the same gusto as post-tsunami casualty reporting may have proved beneficial.

It's now 9:30am, I get a call from Jes, "Jeff, my.." phone disconnects... ah, but I'm just getting my computer grove on, do I have to call her back? I contemplate, I call her. "Jeff, thanks you call me back, we at Nai Harn Beach, have water in car". What? "Have water.. water in car". Why? Just then, I look out into the bay... big freaking tidal wave heading my way. "Jes, I gotta go, click". My mind runs through a million size - distance permutations, can I make it out of here? is the wave big enough to take down my house? The bay looks menacing, but not house threatening, especially considering it's up 4 feet off the ground and about 10 feet above the high tide water line.

I run downstairs, call my dog LongKong into the house... Luckily, she's nearby... come on sweetie, but she knows something's wrong. I run upstairs, I run downstairs, upstairs, camera, downstairs, In moments of panic, you don't think, you just do, and a lot of what you do, makes no sense. Ok think think think... what am I going to do, I'm assessing the wave, continually sizing it up as it approaches. Boats are bobbing wildly the sound is getting louder and louder, the sound of a thunderous waterfall approaching... very unsettling... all in super slow motion.

Just as it approaches the concrete breaking wall separating my house from the beach, a distance of 3 meters, it goes completely flat. Like a giant vacuum cleaner just sucked it straight down underneath itself with the most distinctive and terrifying sound, ccccssshhhhheeeeiiiiiitttt! and it's gone! Like an Olympic swimmer turning off a wall, I'm now watching this wave from behind, looking at the back of it as it moves away from me and back out to sea. Huge sign of relief.

Khun Ginari comes out from hiding, pale and shaken, frantically closing down the Yacht Club, I say "wow. that was intense... hey, you closing down?"... "Yea, close down close down... I think not safety here". She takes off and a couple of yachties Tony and Gerhard arrive to witness the mayhem. I don't think any of us said anything, but I can't recall. We just looked out at the sea, amused at the swirling chaos. I wondered, "hmm, I should get out of here, but well, if they are here, they don't seem worried, Nam is still drinking, seemingly enjoying it. And anyway, the wave is rolling back out to sea.. Wrong... all wrong.

CNN didn't talk about a possible Tsunami much less multiple possible sunami's. After a couple minutes of watching the sea whirl around we all come to realize there is another one coming at us, but this one is bigger, and now it's not possible to outrun. Number 2 hits and the shiat hits the fan. I recall watching my neighbors wooden gate get smashed in and almost 4 feet of water slamming straight into her front door. I look straight down and between the wood planks of my deck, starring in awe at the water rushing straight through under my house, less than a foot below the bottom deck planks. I watch as a fuse box on one of the electric poles sparks, then hissing then buzzes wildly before going up in flames. I'm fixated and completely mesmerized by the phosphorescent colored flames. Bobby's boat is in front of me, it's stern punctures the side of a speedboat, chhhunkkk, then proceeds to slice it down the side like the unrolling of a sardine lid, scccrrreeeeeeaaa. Nam is sitting on one of the Yacht Club chairs, water, sand and diesel oil splashing wildly all around him, and he's pestering me to bring out a bottle of booze, "Jep, Jep..." then making bottle drinking gestures after getting my attention.

Tony and Gerhard perform some sick Chinese acrobatics jumping from rail to table to rail to roof on the other side of the Yacht Club, The water level's not going down, it keeps rising. I'm looking straight down, it's churning violently, churning and swirling. Again I find myself fixated, completely mesmerized, just staring down between the deck floor boards with all the fascination of mixing a thick chocolate shake in a blender. I come to understand that this water depth now exists all around me and my entire house in front, back and both sides... violently churning, and continuing to rise. I scan the horizon, looking for another one, I am certain more this is just the beginning, that more is on the way. A profound sadness hits me as I watch my dogs fear and curse myself for being so careless in not protecting her. We are completely and hopelessly trapped at the mercy of the sea. It hits me as strong as any feeling I've ever had, "this is that moment before death.".

I continuously scan the horizon on the look out for another wave, complete chaos, as far as I can see, flipped boats, sideways boats, boats on top of boats, ricocheting waves hitting one another creating huge flumes of spray, 40 foot boats rolling upside down, catamarans splintering to pieces, and Nam is still at it... "Jep, Jep.." sitting in his submerged plastic chair, pointing at my kitchen then gesturing like he's pouring a drink. This state of pure 100% panic goes on for about 5 minutes, although I have no understanding of time. Then the water begins to recede, and still, no new waves coming toward me, little by little, panic turns to hope. I keep wishing it down, down down... no new wave, no new wave... nature hears my wishes. The water now recedes enough to allow passage, come on Long Kong... We start making our way out but Long Kong's not used to deep water along the 50 meter pathway much all kinds of debris and flipped dinghies... I yell, Long Kong! Come Here NOW! and she gets scared and starts heading back to the house... Long Kong!... I run her down and fireman carry her out and through the carnage.

We make it to my car, grateful I didn't park in my usual spot, which would have submerged it. I drive, don't know where or why, I go one way, then the other, then the other, ok think think... Gas station, I go and fill up. It's only then that I overhear someone talk about the Sumatra earthquake that I make the connection and understand what had just transpired and why. A third Tsunami hits, fortunately It's smaller, and I'm inland. Supermarket, water, I think of everyone else now, Martin out somewhere on his sailboat, Jes, her last words to me, "my car have water", Chaya at Surin Beach , Nichol in a Kata Noi resort on the beach, Konrad, my former High School teacher at a Patong hotel right on the beach, Darrell out over in Krabi, did it hit Krabi also? So many questions, so much misinformation.. " another one's coming at 1 o'clock, no, 2 o'clock, no 4:30, no, there was an earthquake also in Sri Lanka, there was a car bomb in Patong...

The numbers in my phone are outdated, so I can't call my parents or brother, I can't call period, network is down. I SMS everyone I know, "Please Contact my parents tell them I am ok". A call comes through, it's Jes... I'm relieved she is ok. I pick her up, and she tells me her friend is missing. They got out of the car, start running away from the rushing water, holding hands, they fell down broke grip and her friend got sucked into the sea. The guy driving the car was struck in the head and bleeding, went to the hospital. I drive her and her relatives to various homes with other relatives, inquiring about the missing girl and others. I take particular notice of how elegantly the Thai's deal with grief and sorrow. There is no hostile negative-energy angry fist fueled grievance, theirs is especially touching, soft and kind, sweet and gentle.

We are packed to the hilt with water, park on a side street up about 100 meters in elevation, it's calm and peaceful, and there are several others doing the same, camps of people all lined all along the mountain street, picnicking. It's 3:00pm, Slowly calls are coming through and going out, Martin is safe on his yacht Rhythm-Stick, hit by the waves right out in front of my house where he had his boat anchored, battled the first Tsunami and won, then headed out to deeper water before #2 and #3 struck. Nichole SMS's me, she's ok, Chaya, ok.. moods are lifting, then Jes gets a call that I immediately recognize to be that of her missing friend.. good news, "Farang (foreigner) pull her out of water". Huge emotional weights are being lifted one after another. I'm now much more at ease with my fellow potpourri of refugees 100 meters up the hill, all not knowing where to go or what to do but relishing in the level of safety elevation provides. But countering any real relief is the growing realization of just how many wouldn't survive this.

Ken calls in his Norwegian accent, "hey, we still doing that sexy full moon party?" Ken, I gotta go. I had planned the night previously, to pick up Konrad at his Patong Beach Hotel at 3:30.. now. Now I didn't know if he was dead of alive, and I don't say so rhetorically. Stories came in that West coast beaches were hit by waves 30-40 feet high, compared to the 8-10 foot swells I encountered in Chalong. He has my number, but hasn't called.. why?. His hotel's number isn't working. I drive up to Patong to look for him. (Subsequent personal examinations of high water lines validate the swell heights I mention. If you look at the MAP OF PHUKET, you will see that with a Tidal Wave approaching heading due North West, I was super lucky only to have my house only side swiped with richochetting waves. It would have disintegrated my house had it hit head on).

I now see the devastation of the west coast beaches, Kata, Karon, then Patong, debris is everywhere. But people are amazingly calm. There are groups of people inland huddled around watching BBC sipping cokes, while others watched soccer drinking beer, but just about everyone is displaced. I reach Konrad's hotel, which is set back about 100 meters from Patong Beach, one of the hardest hit areas. I pull into the hotel driveway, abandoned smashed cars show muddy water lines at window level, about 4 feet. I don't see a single person, it's completely abandoned, it's too risky to stay around here, I head back to higher ground. Just after making my ascent up the hill leading to Karon, I get a call... it's Konrad. He saw me drive by and borrowed a phone. I pick him up. He was poolside when he started hearing explosions, most likely blown power boxes, then screaming and people running, then water everywhere.

We go back to my house Phuket Beach House to collect a trunk full of life's what matters stuff. While the house is still standing, The entire bay smells and looks of Diesel, gasoline, and sewage, the electricity is out and no water. I'm at a hotel now, very very high up on the hillside. Yet the the air conditioner sounds like waves crashing in and I can't sleep.

Thanks everyone for your concern about me, I heard from you though haven't been able to reply yet. I am grateful to have friends like you, happy to be alive, fortunate that all my close Phuket friends and dog survived. I am incredibly humbled by the stories of others who made it out in situations that makes my experience downright trivial. And of course, I am heavy hearted with sorrow for those who didn't survive, who's spirit I'll always know and carry around with me, for they were my fellow beach goers, my neighbors, my kin. May they continue to live out their dreams at the world's greatest tropical beach paradise, Phuket Thailand.
2004-12-29 04:15:56 PM  
2004-12-29 04:13:57 PM drgeoffrey

Humans are animals too...
But I do remember the cat I was catsitting freaking out about the Seattle earthquake in 2001 before I ever felt it.

I was there too. My dogs and cat were totally oblivious until it actually started.
2004-12-29 04:16:49 PM  
They probably sensed the earthquake, not the wave. There was a piece on the Discovery channel about a scientist who predicts earthquakes by monitoring the levels of missing pet reports in particular areas. The animals bolt days before the event, so if there is a huge spike in missing pets, something is about to happen. I thought it was hokey, but they said they guy has an impressive success rate.
2004-12-29 04:17:08 PM  

This is the reason why Natural disasters never kill Scottish men.

That was baaaaaaaad.

2004-12-29 04:17:59 PM  

Read my profile and say that, you charmer.
2004-12-29 04:19:00 PM  
After ALL we've done for these creatures, they didn't even have the decency to warn the humans around them....

they're ANIMALS, I say.
2004-12-29 04:19:45 PM  
Animals have a lot of the abilities we seem to have lost in our busy world.

Ever have the feeling something is not quite right? Know how you can almost feel you are being watched even when you can't see the watcher?

Animals are also better at detecting supernatural activity.
2004-12-29 04:20:09 PM  
what is the correct way to say: PHUKET
I know it's not with a F
2004-12-29 04:21:16 PM  
Noah surrenders.
2004-12-29 04:21:24 PM  
justanotherfarkinfarker: It's POO-ket.
2004-12-29 04:21:48 PM  
What happened to the fortune tellers who read asses?
Maybe that's why dogs are always sniffing around there.
2004-12-29 04:24:09 PM  
Phuket is pronounced 'Poo-ket'

Exactly one year ago to the day when the Tsunami hit I was in Phuket. Weird.
2004-12-29 04:25:18 PM  
They probably sensed the earthquake, not the wave. There was a piece on the Discovery channel about a scientist who predicts earthquakes by monitoring the levels of missing pet reports in particular areas. The animals bolt days before the event, so if there is a huge spike in missing pets, something is about to happen. I thought it was hokey, but they said they guy has an impressive success rate.

I think the man you're talking about appeared (somewhat recently) on "Unscrewed with Martin Sargent" before it got cancelled. He also claimed he got fired from his job (at the USGS? LLL? Don't remember) because he predicted the '89 SF quake. Or something.

Where are you, Unscrewed army?
2004-12-29 04:25:26 PM  
It might just be that they can run a whole heck of a lot faster than humans....
2004-12-29 04:26:17 PM  

That was almost unreadable.
2004-12-29 04:26:20 PM  
Thanks for copying that over. That was a very interesting and crazy read.
2004-12-29 04:27:02 PM  
[image from too old to be available]

2004-12-29 04:27:14 PM  
2004-12-29 04:28:11 PM  
In 1994 an hour before the Northridge Earthquake my dogs, and the ones in the neighborhood all started barking and going crazy like 15 minutes before the quake. Maybe its their better sense of hearing. Crazy though. I was in Simi Valley, Ca, very close and on quake fault line.

2004-12-29 04:28:58 PM  

Thanks for posting that. Glad he and his friends made it out alright, and I'm keeping everyone in my thoughts. Amazing.
2004-12-29 04:29:14 PM  
Has nothing to do with the fact that almost all animals can swim. Or that they dont normally habitate the beach or nearby areas heavily human populated areas. Pets would have been the only ones in real danger since they were probably trapped in a house or yard..... well until the water came through.
2004-12-29 04:29:18 PM  
Wow, great story. Thanks for sharing.
2004-12-29 04:29:51 PM  
2004-12-29 04:25:18 PM brainfondle

"He also claimed he got fired from his job (at the USGS? LLL? Don't remember) because he predicted the '89 SF quake. Or something."

Yeah, that might be the same guy. They were upset that he is able to do better than them using the local newspaper and talking to the animal control people. It kinds of ruins their attempts to get funding for multi-million dollar detection systems.
2004-12-29 04:31:02 PM  
Interesting to read that chakalasp. I watched the videos on iFilm and it seems as if a lot of people had the same reaction -- they could have been running, but they were too busy staring with their mouths open. I don't know which reaction I would have myself!
2004-12-29 04:32:48 PM  
This sort of behavior has been documented in the Southeastern United States before hurricanes. Animals such as deer, opossums, racoons,and cows all go to large clearings and look up at the sky. I actually have a picture a SC Dept of Natural Resources Biologist took of a large group of deer standing in the middle of a road looking up at the sky. Apparently they can feel the massive changes in pressure that precede these storms. Sometimes animals are better than we are. Radar cost us how many millions of dollars to create and maintain, and animals come with it built in.
2004-12-29 04:33:02 PM  
``Maybe what we think is true, that animals have a sixth sense,'' Wijeyeratne said.

Your dog sees dead people?
2004-12-29 04:35:45 PM  
Squirrels in my neighborhood cannot seem to hear or see cars coming. I have avoided them all thankfully.

So if you need animals for early warning Tsunami alarms. Don't use squirrels.
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