Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Father in Emotional Appeal to Find Baby Torn from His Arms

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Father in Emotional Appeal to Find Baby Torn from His Arms

Article excerpt


A FATHER made a desperate bid today to find the baby daughter he lost in the tsunami.

Hans Markhorst was one of thousands of people around the world searching for lost relatives.

Nine-month old Ame was ripped from the Dutchman's arms as the tidal wave hit a beach on Khao Lak where they had been swimming. He has not seen her since.

Mr Markhorst is distributing posters at a Thai air force base in Phuket to which he, his elder daughter and his wife - who was seriously injured - were evacuated.

Embassies and package tour operators are making huge efforts to find the missing but many are backpackers who were travelling independently.

Hundreds of families have turned to the internet - including special pages on the BBC's website - in the hope of finding information on their loved ones.

As news trickled back from Asia via email and telephone, some families received news via text messages broadcast on Sky News.

But for some, the only option was to get on a plane and go to search themselves. One London mother told of her desperate flight to try to find her daughter and future son-in-law in Sri Lanka.

Speaking aboard a flight to Colombo, Diana Gunasena, 65, told the Standard how she turned up at the airport little more than an hour before departure, then paid [pounds sterling]1,300 for a last-minute ticket.

"I must have tried dozens of times to get through to my daughter in Sri Lanka," she said. "I got to the point where I was feeling at the end of my tether. I just decided yesterday afternoon I'd got to go." Mrs Gunasena's, youngest daughter Srianjali, 31, a former hospital administrator from Wandsworth, co-owns a small beachside hotel at Arugam Bay, on the island's east coast, directly facing the tidal wave.

Reports say the tsunami washed as far as two miles inland. …

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