The Day the Earth moved. - The Online Sun has a number of survivor stories.
One from a woman diving 50ft off the coast. The waves took her and diving mates up a hill and they took shelter on a hotel roof.
Another on the beach said it was like being in a giant washing machine.
The count now is
45,000 119,000 145,000 234,000 [updated 2005.01.24.] and rising.
Update: 2005.01.01.You can see before and after satellite photos of the tsunami damage from DigitalGlobe.
Keep the victims in prayer.
Update: 2004.12.30.Large Python Saves Woman and young Twins.
As she struggled for her own life and that of the twins, she said a large snake as long as a telephone pole approached her. She and the nine-year-olds rested on the reptile, which was drifting along with the current.
The swirling waters of the tsunami swept her parents and most of their customers out of the restaurant. Her father later managed to claw his way back to the badly damaged building, where he found his daughter crying as she floated precariously on the mattress in about five feet of water.
Bernstein said: "Although we were higher, and able to watch the waves as they came, we still felt unsafe."
She was soon holding on to a floating piece of wood, in the midst of deep sea. Meghna said she was thrown on to an island full of snakes and other reptiles, where she was picked up by the natives and handed over to the Air Force authorities.
Amid the chaos and grief surrounding the tsunami horror wrought on Asia have emerged some remarkable tales of survival, acts of courage and heartwarming generosity.
Chia-ni was flung onto a coconut tree and clung on to it for more than 20 hours before she was rescued.
"Scott was pushed half a city block by the wave. I was only pushed about 50 feet and then I hit a concrete wall and all the material in the restaurant and all the furniture piled on top of me," said Xaver in a Wednesday evening telephone conversation from her Bangkok hospital bed.
Chad, who was outside the storage room when the wave hit, was able to climb up on the clay-shingled roof and pry the door open from above, freeing Megan and the others. Fearing more waves, the pair struggled to get up on another roof, helping, among others, a 3-year-old Japanese boy separated from his parents and a trembling, elderly Frenchman to higher ground. That’s when they saw the third wave coming, a towering wall of water about 10 to 15 feet high, Chad estimated.
An American woman who was scuba diving with her husband in Thailand as one of Sunday's tsunamis roared overhead said she was oblivious to the disaster until after they surfaced, her mother told CNN on Tuesday.
Update: 2004.12.30.Man in Sri Lanka describes his survivial when the tsunami hit the train he was on.
Ravindra was one of the few people who survived when the powerful waves swept inland on Sunday, knocking the crowded train off of its tracks. More than 1,000 people were on the train. Rescuers have recovered more than 200 bodies, but hundreds of people are still missing.
Update: 2004.12.31.Man on pilgrimage describes 10 story waves as cobra's hood.
An asthama patient and a paan shop owner in Khadia area of the walled city, Bajyapee said, "the wave I saw was like the hoods of a giant cobra in the sky. I could not understand what it was at first, even though the people on the beach were running towards the land. On putting my spectacles, I saw the giant wave approaching us".
Wood was in Sri Lanka with her brother, Andrew, who had given her a vacation to the island nation for Christmas.
Wood said the tsunami hit as they were leaving a resort area. She said a taxi driver saved her and her brother.
On the day of the tragedy, Mr Tan was out snorkelling [sic] off Phi Phi island when the giant waves hit the beach where his wife and son were.
By some miracle, somebody found little Wei En in the water and revived him.
"I was paging through the newspaper and saw lots of ads from people looking for relatives," Natale told Reuters. "I asked myself, Why not make a free site that can help everybody? So I made a free site, which used to be dedicated to the famous American cartoon family, the Simpsons."
Update: 2004.12.31.Elephant & Handler Save Children when Waves Strike.
A British tourist says she saw an elephant save several children on a Thai beach when the killer waves struck.
The animal had been brought to a beach resort in Phuket to entertain children.
Laura Barnett says the elephant's keeper hoisted kids up onto the animal's back, and then walked them off to safety.
Update: 2004.12.31.28 Orphans and Missionaries Escape Seconds before Mission Destroyed.
Not only was water cascading over the lagoon side of the peninsula, but it also was pouring in from the mouth of the estuary about two miles away. Sanders feared the converging currents would swamp the small craft. At that point, Sanders said, he recalled a line from the Book of Isaiah: "When the enemy comes in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shall raise up a standard against it."
He raised his hand toward the flood and shouted, "I command you in the name of Jesus stop!" The water then seemed to "stall, momentarily," he said.
Update: 2004.12.31. 10:23pm Eastern.American Couple Trapped first in Elevator then Escaped to Jungle Gym Saving Others.
As Johnson shouted prayers amid the flooding, the thatched roof lodged against the jungle gym, helping shelter them from the last and biggest wave -- one that swelled 10 feet over their heads.
"It was a freaky thing the tree protected us. We miraculously didn't get hit," Green recalled in a phone interview with The Associated Press from Singapore on Thursday night.
Also at the link just above are a number of other survival stories like a woman who carried to sea from her bungalow. There is also the story a couple who survived and the brother and sister who didn't comprehend the immensity of the disaster they were in the middle of till after surviving.
Christopher Torchia has a story of several survivals; a 16-year-old girl, a family, and a businessman.
Asok, her 20-year-old son, was washed downstream but saved himself by grabbing some roots on the riverbank.
"I can't remember how many times I went below the water,'' he said. Though sand was filling his ears, he added, "I heard my mother screaming, ‘Where are you?'''
At just 18 months old, Hannes Bergstrom, who was separated from his family by the tsunami in Khao Lak, Thailand, cannot comprehend the mix of anguish and relief on his father's face as they were reunited in a Thai hospital yesterday.
Well, I happened to get caught up in the tsunami that you’ve probably seen on TV. Last I heard, over 22,000 people died. I really should have been one of them.
Andrew 'Ned' Kelly and Nick Ward, from Stourbridge, West Midlands, had been planning to leave Phi Phi island when the tsunami hit.
Instead, they lowered themselved [sic] from their hotel room to a nearby rooftop and began dragging people from the water surging past them.
The third man, Roy Phillips a fireman from Birmingham, swam out into the debris and waves rescuing people.
The family and up to 30 other tourists were then confronted by crocodiles in the swirling torrent.
Somehow all reached the safety of high ground, from where Duncan made his plea for help.
Update: 2005.01.01.After Seeing the Ocean Recede, 10-year-old British Girl Saved Dozens with Quick Thinking.
"Mummy, we must get off the beach now!" she told her mother. "I think there's going to be a tsunami."
The adults didn't understand until Tilly added the magic words: "A tidal wave."
Update: 2005.01.03.Teenager Survived Tsunami Only to be Raped.
A teenager who escaped death but was left orphaned and homeless by the Asian tsunami met yet one more agony: gang rape, one of several cases of child abuse being investigated in the disaster zone, an official said.
Woman Found Floating at Sea for 5 Days. Four Fisherman also Found at Stranded at Sea.
Five days after the Dec. 26 deadly wave, a Malaysian tuna ship found her clinging to the tree - bitten by fish and traumatized by the horrific experience - but alive after subsisting on the palm's fruit and bark, officials said Monday.
A Sumatran fisherman was discovered barely alive under his beached boat on Sunday in Indonesia, the first survivor found in three days.
Police officers from Stockholm are flying to Bangkok amid reports that a 12-year-old survivor of the tsunami has been kidnapped from a Thai hospital.
Fears are growing that Kristian Walker has been taken by those involved in the sex trade in Phuket.
Update: 2005.01.05.Tsunami Island Survivors Fire Arrows at Supply Helicopter.
An Indian helicopter dropping food and water over the remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands has been attacked by tribesmen using bows and arrows.
Update: 2005.01.07Actor Jet Li tells of his Survival.
Li said he was able to carry his daughters and drag the maid away from the rising waters that had reached his mouth.
A DAD who lost 100 relatives in the tsunami disaster is facing a bureaucratic battle to leave Britain and be reunited with his surviving son.
Rizal Shahputra, 20, arrived at Malaysia's Port Klang - sunburnt, dehydrated and starving.
He was found clinging on to a floating tree trunk, frantically waving for help, some 100 nautical miles from his home in Banda Aceh in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
Malawati, 18 weeks pregnant, used a hook to grab coconuts, fruit and packets of instant noodles. Rizal Shahputra watched in speechless agony as sailors on a passing ship laughed and cheerfully returned his frantic waves and sailed on.
Update: 2005.01.12.Ananova™ reports that a man claims a croc saved him.
A Sri Lankan pensioner claims he was saved from the tsunami by a crocodile which nudged him back to shore.
Update: 2005.01.24.TSUNAMI SURVIVOR’S MOM FOUND STRENGTH IN GOD
After about an hour, they came back down to their once idyllic haven, now a complete shambles. “They saw people dying right and left,” Kathy says. They used doors as makeshift stretchers to move those who were injured.
Update: 2005.01.26.Judge Gets Case Of 9 Women Who Claim Tsunami Baby Is Theirs
A judge in Sri Lanka says he'll soon begin hearing evidence from nine women who each claim that a tiny tsunami survivor is their child.
Update: 2005.02.04.WFTV.com reports that some 38 days after the tsunami struck, nine survivors were found on an isolated island.
Nine tribespeople who survived the December tsunami spent 38 days wandering through flattened villages on a remote Indian island, eating boars and coconuts, before police found them Wednesday.
Update: 2005.02.15.Clinging to the Word of God:
When a GFA correspondent spoke with her a month later, Uma still clutched her beloved Bible. She thanks the Lord for saving her despite her injuries and the hours of danger.