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Strange scenes on boat off Kenya

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Tens of thousands of people have been killed and left homeless across Asia.

In southern Thailand, paradise turned into a nightmare. Hear a tsunami survivor's story.

ITN's John Irvine was on vacation in Sri Lanka when the tsunamis hit

The relationship between earthquakes and tsunamis.
Special Report:  Waves of destruction
• Animation: How a tsunami forms
• Aid agencies: Who you can contact to help
• Map of region: Nations affected
Could officials have done more to warn about the giant waves that smashed into several countries?

This is a story e-mailed to CNN from a young man in Africa. If you want to tell us about your experience, e-mail your account to We are also publishing more first-hand accounts here. We are also publishing your appeals for information about missing relatives and friends here.

My story may be of interest in relation to the Asia quake. My name is Sayyeda Valli. I am 17 years old, and I'm a student at Jaffery Academy in Mombasa, Kenya.

I want to narrate what happened today. We went to celebrate Boxing Day in Malindi Marine National Park. My family hired a glass boat and 24 of us set sail.

When we reached the deep waters, we took a dip and swam with the fish. Later on we went further on to the sand banks because some of us wanted to swim in the shallow waters.

The drama started then.

Suddenly, those of us who had jumped into the sea, began to be pulled by the current with absolutely no warning. The boat which had anchored began to swirl round and round.

The seven people who had jumped into the sea were being pulled in all sorts of direction and there was panic all around.

Those who jumped in to save them also got pulled in, inspite of the fact they were good swimmers.

The water began to change color, became very choppy, and there was a section where the water level dropped, and it seemed like the rest of the ocean was flowing into it.

Suddenly the level rose within seconds and the sand bank disappeared again as fast as it appeared. The engine of the boat was revving at full speed and yet the boat was not moving.

With the help of other boats in the area, we managed to save the passengers from our boats and their boats. We began to head towards the coast. Again our boat twirled, drawn by the currents. It was scary.

Finally we reached the coast, only to realise that there was a panic on the shore, for our boat was the second last boat to come ashore.

We were hurriedly pulled to the shore by seamen who were terrified and confused. Only then did we realize that something major was happening in the sea. The color of the sea had changed to red.

On return, I saw on BBC about the major Asia quake and the effect it has had and the lives it has claimed. I'm wondering if today's event had anything to do with the tidal wave that swept Asia.

Our local radio station has just issued an alert for people by the ocean to be very careful and they have not yet reported any casualties.

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