Petra Nemcova to Appear on 'Dancing With the Stars' After Surviving 2004 Tsunami
The devastating tsunami struck while Nemcova, now 31, was on a photo shoot in Thailand with her fiance, Simon Atlee. Atlee was killed in the disaster, and Nemcova had to be airlifted to safety after the wave broke her pelvis and left her with severe internal injuries.
In the months following the tsunami, Nemcova had to go through months of intensive care and physical therapy as she worked to regain the ability to walk. The source says that her appearance on "Dancing with the Stars" will be particularly poignant, as her dancing will represent a significant achievement in the wake of her having to fight to walk again after the disaster.
Since her near-death experience, she has continued to model, working for lingerie company Victoria's Secret and appearing on the covers of magazines like Elle, Glamour, Cosmopolitan and the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, 227,898 people died in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Tectonically active areas in the Pacific Ocean mean that the West Coast of the United States is also vulnerable to being struck by a disaster of this kind.
Preparedness.com says that people in tsunami-prone areas should be alert for rapid rises or falls in coastal waters, as these are a sign of an approaching wave. If a warning is issued, people in these regions should move to higher ground.