Tsunami's effect on the country of Sweden

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    I would have prefered to have posted this on the "Current Events Discussion" forum, where it would be more appropriate, but as this is my first post to allnurses.com, I don't have that privilege. The current discussions there regarding this tragedy are shockingly petty and trivial, which compels me to provide this group a little perspective about how some of us are more directly effected by this enormous tragedy. I have been lurking here at allnurses.com and reading the threads for a long time, both as a guest and as a registered user.

    When the wave hit South Western Asian on early Boxing Day, there were an estimated 30,000 Swedish citizens in the country of Thailand celebrating the Christmas school break, the majority of them in the resort areas of Phuket, Khoa Lak and Phi Phi Islands. These were the worst hit regions in the area. At present, it is estimated that as many as 1500 Swedes have lost thier lives, many of them children, but the numbers could be far worse. 2000 Swedish people on charters are still missing. Backpackers and others who are travelling outside of the organized charter tour agencies can be as many as 10,000 more individuals.

    I work at Scandinavia's largest university hospital and we are at this point in time anticipating the arrival of many hundreds, if not more, severely injured and traumatized Swedish families. More than 20 jumbo jets are needed to get people home. Our preparations are intense, to put it mildly.

    The logistics of evacuating 20,000 people, many of whom are severely injured and septic, are beyond comprehension. Children have who have lost thier parents are arriving alone at the airport here in snow covered Stockholm in bathing suits and shorts. Mothers and fathers have had their babies ripped out of their arms while frolicing on the beach. Grandparents have been washed to sea and drowned while eating breakfast on the terasses of beach hotels. Thousands of families are separated and people here in Sweden have no idea what has happened to their vacationing relatives, amongst them thousands of backpacking teenagers in unclear circumstances.

    The tsunami disaster in South West Asia will be this Northern European nation's worst national tragedy in modern time and we are literally on the other side of the world.

    The millions of people of the local populations in the area around the Bay of Bengal have lost absolutely everything and the situation is desparate. My heart goes out to these people as I prepare myself for my incoming patients.
    Thank you for listening and sending a thought to the millions upon millions of human beings that are effected by this disaster.
    Last edit by InfRN on Jan 4, '05
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  4. 46 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    My prayers are with all affected by this disaster.
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    It's so very sad. I did not realize that so many Swedes went to Thailand for the holidays. I visited your country last June during the Midsummer festival and found it to be very beautiful, and the people are so friendly.
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    My son lives in Taby with his Swedish wife and 2 children. His father in law, step-mother and 6 yr old brother-in-law were in Phi Phi and barely managed to escape with their lives. His father in law is diabetic and had only a few days of insulin left (could not be refrigerated and lost the case once). They lived in the jungle two days before rescuers took them to Bangkok, where they are now awaiting transportation to Stockholm when new passports arrive. This has been horrific for our family (I been part of that family 10 years). Emails and phone calls have been flying across the ocean. I cannot imagine the horror of not knowing where your loved one is and whether they are safe. So much tragedy.
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    I had heard that Sweden had also lost a lot of citizens (((((((((hugs))))))) to you and all those affected by this terrible disaster. I remember the stories and tapes from the PNG Tsunami where we Aussies went to help and the horrific conditions that they had to face. The terrible decisions amputating the limbs of children - and this disaster is worse.
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    I am sorry to read this....this disaster has such far-reaching consequences and has caused immeasureable destruction to lives that can never be repaired. I am sorry for the losses that Sweden, as well as many other countries have endured. My heart is very heavy each time I read , hear or think of this disaster. I am truly sorry beyond words.
  10. 0
    I was thinking to myself that the Swedes were unusually represented in the tourists in that area. On the front page of our newspaper here is a picture of a Swedish child holding a sign "Missing parents and two brothers" in Phuket, Thailand. It's heartbreaking. My heart goes out to your country.
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    I think one of the most haunting photos was of a disheveled 2 year old who was all alone having lost both parents. I looked over at my 3 year old and try to imagine him in such a terrible place without people he knows and how frightening that would be and I just cry.

    Many prayers sent up for help.

    steph
  12. 0
    Steph here's the story that I'm sure you're talking about. Heartbreaking

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/files/s...20With%20Uncle


    Here's some photos of the child being reunited with his father. Along with other horrifying pictures. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/galleri...MPLATE=DEFAULT
  13. 0
    What a horriblly devastating tragedy this is not just for the people of South Asia but for the whole world, really. It breaks my heart to read what has happened to these people and their families, especially the children. My thoughts and prayers are with them.


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