A Muskogee couple's brush with this week's tsunami in the Indian Ocean


Tuesday, December 28th 2004, 10:37 am
By: News On 6


Many Oklahomans have been touched by the tragedy in Southeast Asia. Mark and Amanda McEntyre were headed toward a Thailand beach on Sunday morning, and then they saw everyone else running away.

News on 6 anchor Tami Marler talks with their Muskogee family, about the couple's brush with death.

You probably won't see actual images of the first wall of water that grew out of the still, blue Indian Ocean, only the powerful waves that followed and the waves of sorrow that for some will never end. No one expected the devastating tsunami and no one who witnessed it will ever forget it.

Animation from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration[Quicktime movie], gives a dramatic perspective of the tsunami's magnitude.

Amanda McEntyre's father, Burl Ford: “They were just going down to the beach and they met people saying go back there's a tidal wave and they just got back, right ahead of it."

Amanda and Mark McEntyre are spending a year in India, teaching English to college students. On the day of the tsunami, they were in the heart of the chaos, Phuket, Thailand.

Mark's mother, Denise McEntyre: "They were headed on their mo-ped to the ocean. Their hotel was four blocks from the ocean, and as they were heading there, people came running at them screaming 'tidal wave,' so they turned to go back to safety, and back to their motel, and there was water coming down the road that looked like rivers coming at them."

Amanda's and Mark's parents say it's probably a good thing their kids are notoriously late. They got back to their hotel just in time, though, with waves swelling within a block of their doorstep.

By chance, Amanda and Mark McEntyre witnessed a catastrophe of biblical proportions. Their parents believe it's a miracle they're alive.

Scott and Amanda are teachers in Muskogee. We're told they're in Bangkok, on their way back to India, where they'll work until next summer.