Pain lingers for Suni O'brien
THE ocean was eerily clear in Ban Nam Khem, a month after it claimed countless lives and homes during the Boxing Day tsunami.
Suni O'Brien has just returned to Gladstone from her former home village, after losing 10 of her family members during the tragedy.
"We found my nephew's body first, and then my mother's on the 28th,'' Mrs O'Brien said yesterday.
"There were 1600 homes but now there are under 20 left standing."
Mrs O'Brien said before the wave struck her sister had phoned her mother to warn her.
"She told her there was a Tsunami coming but everything was very quiet.
"She hung up the phone and went to tell everyone. Some believed her and some didn't. Some ran and were lucky, but many didn't. When asked to describe her return to the area Mrs O'Brien showed photos of bodies in open air morgues, large boats washed up inland on busy streets and a surrounding of unthinkable destruction.