Ocean Springs Man Survives Tsunami - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12/29/04

Ocean Springs Man Survives Tsunami

Officials now believe the tsunami that hit Southern Asia this weekend could end up claiming the lives of more than 100,000 people.

Although the tragic events took place thousands of miles away, the tsunami hit home for an Ocean Springs woman whose husband was there. Joe Miller, 40, was in Cochin, India on business.

Miller's wife Kathy says she awoke Sunday morning to an uneasy feeling.

"I had a feeling of panic," says Kathy Miller. "I didn't know what was wrong, of course, I just knew something wasn't right. I turned on the TV to listen to the news, which normally I don't do at that time of morning, and they were talking about the tsunami."

One of her husband's business partners called Miller to let her know he was all right. Twenty-four hours later, Joe called to tell her what happened.

"They were walking along the beach taking pictures and they looked out toward the water and saw a 30 foot wall of water coming at them," said Miller.

That's when her husband and his business partner turned and ran toward their vehicle in hopes of escaping.

"They couldn't do it. The water came down on top of them, turned their Rickshaw over and Joe got pinned between the Rickshaw and the mud," says Miller. "He didn't think he was going to make it. It took him almost two hours to get out from under that."

Miller says it wasn't until her husband freed himself, that he realized the devastation around him.

"The death toll in his immediate area is up to 12,000 and there's a lot of children that have perished in this," Miller said. "Every time I watch the news, I think how lucky he is and how lucky we are... because so many people are lost."

Miller says her husband escaped with a few scrapes and bruises. She says he will be in India for at least another two weeks doing all he can to help those whose lives were destroyed in a matter of seconds.

by Josh Ridgdell

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