The Impossible Is the True Story of a Family That Survived the 2004 Tsunami

"I thought it was the end for all of us."

The Impossible Is the True Story of a Family That Survived the 2004 Tsunami
The Impossible Is the True Story of a Family That Survived the 2004 Tsunami
  • 2012’s The Impossible, now on Netflix, is set in the aftermath of the lethal tsunami that struck the Indian Ocean in 2004.
  • The film is predicated on the true story of a Spanish Family vacationing in Thailand when the tsunami struck, who miraculously reunited after being separated.
  • That is where the Family from The Impossible is now.

The harrowing 2012 movie, The Impossible, which is now streaming on Netflix, follows a Family of vacationers in the aftermath of the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami that struck land on December 24, 2004. Based on a real story, it stars Naomi Watts, Ewan MacGregor, and a young Tom Holland.

Thought of the deadliest tsunami in recorded historical past, the 200-foot wave wiped away complete cities, and the lives of over 200,000 folks throughout 14 nations, per The Telegraph. The tsunami first made contact in Indonesia and moved onto Thailand, where The Impossible takes place. The demise toll in Thailand was practically five,400 together with 2,000 international vacationers, per Historical past.com.

Miraculously, the Family whose story is advised in The Impossible all survived the catastrophe. Although the Bennet Family in The Impossible is British, the actual Family that impressed the movie is from Spain. María Belón, a doctor, and her husband Enrique Álvarez have been in Khao Lak, Thailand with their three sons, Lucas, Simón and Tomás when the tsunami struck. This is a glance again at their outstanding story, and where the Family is now.

The Family was on trip in Thailand when the tsunami struck.

In 2004, the Belón-Álvarez Family traveled to Orchid Resort Resort in Khao Lak, Thailand for the Christmas holidays. On the time, they have been residing in Japan for Álvarez’s job—similar to the Bennetts in The Impossible. The tsunami arrived three days into their trip, per the L.A. Instances.

As in the film, the Family was gathered across the pool when it occurred. “We have been standing in the identical positions across the identical swimming pool where the households have been standing that day,” MacGregor stated in an interview in 2012. “It was actually actual.”

Belón’s account of the second the tsunami appeared is almost as vivid because the scene in The Impossible. “We began to listen to a really horrible sound. I used to be trying round pondering perhaps that is simply in my thoughts. Nobody recognized the sound. It felt just like the Earth was coming aside however everything regarded good. I used to be dealing with the ocean and noticed an enormous black wall. I didn’t suppose it was the ocean. I believed it was a black wall coming to get us,” she advised The Mirror in 2017.

Afterwards, Belón was swept away and separated from her husband and sons, who have been in the swimming pool. Based on her interview, Belón believed it “was the top” for all of them. Docs advised Belón that she was underwater for not less than three minutes.

Miraculously, all five family members survived.

What occurs subsequent is what gave The Impossible its title. Towards all odds, the Family managed to reunite. “I am right here as a result of I used to be so fortunate, however there have been many, many others who weren’t so fortunate,” Tomas stated in 2016 throughout an interview with the UN on World Tsunami Day.

After being swept away, Belón managed to find her son, Lucas, and seize onto a tree trunk. “Lucas and I have been hugging on this tree, principally in silence, however infrequently, he would say, ‘I’m pleased, Mommy, that you’re with me,’ and I stated, ‘I’m pleased I’m with you, Lucas.’ It was one of the vital stunning moments in my life,” she advised Folks.

They have been discovered and rescued by a Thai man. “The person wouldn’t enable me to die. He dragged me by means of the mud for a very long time till he was certain I used to be in good arms,” she advised The Mirror. Elsewhere, Alvarez had misplaced the opposite sons. Clinging onto a tree, he was certain the boys had drowned—however he, too, reunited with them.

The Family’s reunion passed off two days later, in the hospital where Belón was being handled for extreme accidents to her thigh and chest, per the BBC. After life-saving surgical procedure in Thailand, she spent 4 months recuperating in a hospital in Singapore.

Years later, The Impossible would movie in that very same hospital. “They have been very proud of the thought of the movie being made as a result of it was a means of exhibiting the world how that they had behaved, which was extraordinary,” director Juan Antonio Bayona advised Set Decor.

Belón rescued a young boy named Daniel in the water.

Belón and her son, Lucas, rescued a young Swedish boy named Daniel whereas he was pulled out to sea. Daniel reunited along with his father in the hospital. Based on the L.A. Instances, Belón and her Family misplaced contact with the young boy, and do not know his whereabouts.

Later, she wrote a letter to Daniel’s deceased mom, printed in the L.A. Instances. “It wasn’t your fault you died nor my fault I survived, it was destiny. However destiny has a pointy edge, it leaves wounds and buries scars. Destiny isn’t all the time truthful and that hurts. The ache is ache, however not guilt….That ache is like an invisible stone in my shoe, making it unimaginable to neglect with each step, I’ll by no means do away with it. The perfect I can do is to adapt to its presence,” she wrote.

Filming The Impossible was cathartic for Belón and her Family.

The Family that impressed The Impossible was concerned in the film from begin to end. The method started with Belón recounting her story to filmmakers over the course of five hours—in a single sitting. “Once we first met, I had two targets,” Belón advised the L.A. Instances in 2012. “One was attempting to scare them and two was to look of their eyes and see if they have been those who actually needed to swallow this large duty.”

Based on their response to the interview, Belón determined to belief the filmmakers. As filming proceeded, Belón wrote letters. “One, ‘Delirium,’ conveyed her fragile state in the hospital when she was dropping pints of blood and dealing with demise,'” the article reads.

Belón also met with Watts earlier than filming, and helped inform the function. “I did not wish to pry too much. I did not wish to appear too actor-y. However she had a lot to say, so it was good,” Watts advised The Philadelphia Inquirer. “And one thing that I did not fairly perceive on the time was that she stated she felt utterly certain of her intuition. That nothing received in the way in which of it. And he or she’d by no means had that feeling earlier than. Which made her extremely heroic, as a result of each choice she makes appeared to be the appropriate one.

Today, the Family from The Impossible is dedicated to doing good.

The tsunami modified the course of the Family’s lives. Now residing in Barcelona, 54-year-old Belón continues to work as a physician, and is an advocate for tsunami survivors and a motivational speaker.

Alvárez volunteers with Proactiva Open Arms, an NGO devoted to serving to refugees arrive safely to the Greek island of Lesbos—a notoriously harmful passage. Per a statistic from October 2019, 19,000 migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean since October 2013. “Having lived by means of sure conditions prior to now doesn’t desensitize you. As a substitute, you empathize extra with others. Issues really feel nearer,” Álvarez advised The Huffington Put up.

All three boys, like their parents, are dedicated to philanthropy as properly. Lucas—performed by Tom Holland in the movie—had a heroic second of his personal this summer time whereas working as a physician in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The 26-year-old studied on the College School in London.

Center little one Tomas selected to review at a college in Wales, particularly due to their rigorous lifeguard coaching program, he advised the BBC. He, too, continues to lift consciousness about tsunamis by means of his personal experiences. “Whereas it is necessary to mirror on the previous, it is equally necessary to alter the long run,” he stated in an interview with the UN on World Tsunami Day in 2016.

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Simon, the youngest who was five through the tsunami, now research in the Netherlands. He also volunteers as a lifeguard along with his father’s NGO, per his LinkedIn.

Annually, the Family gathers on a seaside on December 26, the day the tsunami struck, to recollect. “Regardless of where all of us are, it is a dedication we have now perpetually. We have to be near the souls [of the dead],” Belón advised Folks.

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