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Patong tsunami memorial service falls to COVID events ban

Patong tsunami memorial service falls to COVID events ban

PHUKET: The annual Light Up Phuket tsunami memorial event at Loma Park in Patong will not be held this year due to concerns over COVID-19, Patong Mayor Chalermluck Kebsup confirmed late this afternoon (Dec 26).

COVID-19Coronaviruspatong
By The Phuket News

Saturday 26 December 2020, 04:48PM


A woman stands in front of the main sign at the Light Up Phuket tsunami memorial event on Patong Beach last year. Photo: Patong Municipality

A woman stands in front of the main sign at the Light Up Phuket tsunami memorial event on Patong Beach last year. Photo: Patong Municipality

“It would be better to stay safe in this time,” she told The Phuket News today.

Last year, hundreds of tourists and local residents joined the annual Light Up Phuket tsunami memorial event at Loma Park in Patong on the night of Dec 26 to attend multi-faith ceremonies and a minute’s silence before placing flowers and candles in the sand to remember the thousands who lost their lives to the 2004 Asian Tsunami.

The move to cancel the formal tsunami memorial activities follows Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew on Wednesday (Dec 23) issuing an order banning all mass events organised by the government to celebrate the New Year. Smaller private parties held by hotels, restaurants and members of the public may still go ahead, but must comply with COVID-19 protection measures.

By that time Patong Municipality had already announced that the Countdown Patong 2021 event had been cancelled, and by Wednesday afternoon had announced that a slew of other events hoped to support local tourism businesses had also been cancelled, including the Rim Lay Seafood Festival, the Mini Marathon Run on Dec 27 and the Children’s Day activities that were to be held on Jan 9. The Light Up Phuket tsunami memorial event was not among those announced as cancelled.

ZENITHY POOL VILLAS

In Thailand, official government estimates today mark that  4,812 souls lost to the waves on Dec 26, 2004, with another 8,457 injured and 4,499missing, presumed dead, all lost to the tsunami.

While confirmed deaths in Phuket officially numbered only 259, another 700 remained listed as missing.

Phang Nga, however, bore the brunt of the tsunami, with 4,163 people confirmed dead and another 2,113 recorded as missing. Records mark that of those killed in Phang Nga by the tsunami 2,213 were foreigners – mostly tourists.

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