Friday, December 31, 2004
Mohave Valley News: News Column: "KINGMAN -- A Mohave County employee and his family vacationing in Thailand during Sunday's deadly earthquake and tsunamis is safe. Kingman resident Greg Laporta and his parents, Andrew and Joanne Laporta, also of Kingman, traveled to Thailand for Laporta's wedding to a Thai woman, Bunnada Kongrach, several days before Christmas. Laporta and his family left Kingman Dec. 20. The wedding took place two days later. An earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale struck the region Sunday just off the northwestern coast of Sumatra in Indonesia. As of Thursday, the death toll from the tidal waves, or tsunamis, which swamped coastal villages and tourist resorts, is more than 117,000 people from 12 countries from Sri Lanka to Thailand. That number will likely rise. Mike Matthews, director of the county's information technology department said Laporta called him Wednesday night to confirm that they were in Bangkok, Thailand's capital, and not near the hardest hit tourist destinations on the western coast of that country."