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Tsunami tragedy: Your e-mails

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The death toll is expected to rise after tidal waves triggered by the quake.

The relationship between earthquakes and tsunamis.
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- We are asking anyone who experienced the earthquake or resulting tsunamis to e-mail us with their thoughts and experiences. The following are a selection of replies:

Hi I'm living in Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu which is in the southern Part of India. It was on 26th DEC early morning at 6.40 AM when I was sleeping on my bed I felt that some one is shaking my bed, immediately all my family members came out of the house and within half an hour people who live near the shores came running to our place and they said that we are getting big waves at the coastal region and its destroying all their boats and properties. Also children who were playing cricket near the beach were washed away. Vijayalaxmi, Chennai, India

It's devastating to see 6 young girls washed away in the coastal town of Galle. They were in the town centre shopping. Suddenly town filled with water. Saw those girls hanging in to a pillar, but suddenly one girl lost the grip and washed away. Then other girls purposely did it (for sure they want to save their friend). May them attend supreme bliss of Nibbana. Thivanka, Kandy, Sri Lanka

My colleague and friend just SMS'd me from Ko Phi Phi Bay View Hotel. Not injured, but no food, no water and surrounded by bodies. Can she expect help soon? David Thornewill, Prague, Czech Republic

It was like Armageddon. Zulfer, Galle, Sri Lanka

It was after around 12:30 AM of 26th December (Pacific Time) that I got the news of the earthquake on the CNN web site. My brother works in Madras India, and my parents who reside in Eastern India (around Calcutta) had come down to Madras to visit him. The first thing I did was run to work and tried calling up my brother on his cell phone (as I do not have the facility to make international calls from home or my cell phone). I was not able to reach him. I tried many times between 7 AM to 10 AM to reach him, all in vain. By now I was already becoming very nervous. I tried again at around 6:30 PM and I was finally able to reach him and he told me that him and my parents are safe. He also told me that almost everyone who were walking on the beach that morning were wiped off. My parents would walk to Marina beach every morning in Madras to enjoy the fresh air, but that Sunday they did not go the beach as they had an invitation to visit some one else. I also talked to my parents who were about to board a train to return back to Calcutta. Luckily the train services still has not been affected. I heaved a sigh of relief. What was interesting was that I got this piece of news (about the earthquake) yesterday just after I had finished watching the program 'Biblical disasters' on the history channel. Without even realizing it, I prayed to God after a long time (even though for many years I have been considering myself an atheist). There were some people who are not as lucky as me, I prayed for them too. Piyush Kumar, Bellevue, Washington, United States

My sister and her husband are in honeymoon since end November in Indonesia. Her name is Carla Salazar and his name is Michel Van der Ven. We don't have any information about them since the earthquake. If somebody knows anything about them please contact me at Vanesa Salazar, Lima, Peru

We were attending church when I felt the chair I was on swaying. I thought someone behind was kicking my chair but it turned out everyone was experiencing the same. Our service was interrupted maybe a few minutes while we gathered outside the building. My car (a 2 ton MPV) parked nearby was actually bopping up and down ever so gently. Thoughts of the Lord's 2nd coming did cross my mind. I rang home to check on my handicapped mum in-law and the maid told us everything was OK. We kind of knew it was an earthquake in neighboring Indonesia and we all quickly said a quick prayer for all those affected. It was only later in the day we heard about the aftermath due to the tsunamis. Let us continue to pray for all those affected wherever there may be. We leave everything in the hands of God. Amen! Ting Keong Mah, Penang, Malaysia

Today, 12/26/04, my father, Ray de Silva, witnessed a tsunami in Sri Lanka. He and his brother, were going to buy fish from the fisherman near the sea. On his way, he noticed that the sea had become still, and was starting to go inwards. He knew something was wrong, but never expected this disaster. It was a warm day, with brilliant sunshine. He said that people were curious, and most of the children had wandered into the sea, to see what was happening. Then suddenly people were screaming, and running towards land. My father braked, as people were screaming at him to stop. He looked up, and saw that the sea was coming towards him. it was a huge tidal wave. He yanked the door open, followed by his brother. He saw a man being knocked down, by the wave in front of him. He started running. The wave hit them, but he kept on running. He lost his sandals, and was barefoot. All he could see was his new Hyundai Sonata being lifted 50 feet and being hurled into a wall, smashing it! He ran about 14km until he reached dry land. His car still remains near the sea. He was terribly shaken, but safe. Shiran de Silva, Racine, Wisconsin, United States

My house had waves crashing in -- my lotus/koi pond has now been replaced by seawater. My car was enveloped by the waves... luckily when the water receded, I managed to start it up and revved it to a hill slope about 100m from my house. I am still stuck here. Another tidal/tsunami is coming any moment -- and it is feared to be more devastating than the earlier one. I hope this hill slope can weather myself and my dogs... I feel at a point to lose everything I have. The beach is 20m from my house. And with what I have experienced this morning is anything to go by, I dare not envision this next one... I am soooooo hoping it will not happen -- just like the one anticipated 2 hours ago (3 o'clock) -- it's 5 now. The initial one hit at about 10am. The local village "government" has announced to pack valuables, evacuate and move to the mountain. I remember my beloved grandfather once saying -- Fire & Water have no mercy. I tasted it this morning when I went to the beach to take pictures of the strange phenomenon -- the water came up soooooooo fast -- It curled, waved, and hit the bank.... And curled back and various circles with awesome power... I could not walk up, instead was pushed back into the sea... fortunately, a dark Thai man stretched out his hand and pulled me back in. I am now using my laptop/Bluetooth/GPRS for accessing updates. Vivian Ng, Naithon Beach, Phuket, Thailand

I just received this email from my father's Blackberry. They are traveling in Thailand right now. Dear CT and CSF, Today, at about 11:00am our time or 8:00pm on Christmas night in Portland, a lot of Southeast Asia was hit with an 8.9 earthquake and resulting tsunami. We were on a small island off the coast and we were lucky to survive. We had no warning and this had never happened here. Our island fortunately had cliffs toward the sea where the 20-25 foot wave hit and it did come up on the island. There were about 200 plus people there, families with small children. We all ran like hell to the center of the island and later took shelter in the cliffs as we kept hearing that we would be getting another, bigger wave, which, fortunately didn't ever come but we did run for the cliffs several times. Virtually all of the boats that take people to the various islands and beaches were destroyed - instant firewood. Several of our fellow tourists on Po Poda (the island we were on) were seriously injured, when either boats fell on them or flotsam in the water hit them. The most serious that I am aware of were two women with bad head injuries - one was certainly life threatening. Chris Farrington, Portland, Oregon, United States

We felt the quake this morning at 6:25 am (Maldives time). I was in Male' at the time, the building that I live in shook mildly and the windows were rattling.I then then went to work at the airport. I think it was around 9:30 am that the wave hit the airport. It washed right through the hanger that I was working in and continued on over the runway, it was about 4 to 5 ft of water. As far as I know there was no loss of life where I was. We spent the next few hour evacuating people from that side of the airport. Rod McLeod, Male, Maldives

I have witness the effect due to the wave that hit in early morning , Some of the speed boats and the local fishing boats are swept over the sea boundary wall, into main road. Due to impact of the wave some of the walls in the boundary of the harbor was destroyed and it is feared that some of high building are in risk which may fall, including the Bank of Maldives. M.Mumthaz, Male, Maldives

I was walking along the Galle Face green at about 11 a.m. today and many people had started to flock there as they were seeing something new. The tide had completely gone out for about 100 meters or more and most parts of the sea-bed near the coast were visible. Not long after, in just a matter of minutes, the tide came roaring back and hit the barriers along the Galle Face Green with such a force that there were walls of water over 15 feet high shooting over the barriers and slamming on the areas where the people were standing not two minutes ago. Fortunately as far as I could see, no one was washed away then, but later on it was quite apparent in the aftermath that there were so many others washed away to a watery grave in the deep blue sea. Mecci, Colombo State, Sri Lanka

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