The tsunami that struck Phukett, Thailand, swept tons of debris through the resort town of Patong Beach. As the waves retreated and then struck again, this material swirled around the streets. In the aftermath, the lower levels of most buildings were hollow except for the piles of litter and crushed cars. This shopkeeper owned a nearby retail store that was destroyed. He was digging through the muddy waters hoping to recover some of his merchandise. It was a fruitless task.