Petra Nemcova recalls tsunami horror
Petra Nemcova says her heart goes out for the survivors of the Japan earthquakes and tsunami and recalls her experience surviving the 2004 tsunami in Thailand.
"To see them on Friday morning was horrifying," the 31-year-old Czech supermodel said on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Monday, March 14. "My heart was broken and my love was going to everyone in Japan."
Her boyfriend, fashion photographer Simon Atlee, drowned after a massive wave, generated by a tsunami that occurred after the Indian Ocean earthquake, swept over their beachfront resort in Thailand in 2004. Nemcova survived by clinging to a palm tree for eight hours.
"The power is so enormous," she said. "You feel powerless. You feel you can't do anything. The more you fight, the more you lose energy and the more chances for survival you are losing."
"You have to try to stay calm but there is debris of broken trees and doors and everything is crashing into you and you are under debris trying to catch a breath of fresh air and you can't," she added. "The best thing what people can do is to try and stay calm and alert."
Nemcova says she has returned to Thailand since the disaster and adds that her charity, the Happy Hearts Fund, has helped rebuild 50 schools in the area.
"The faster they get the support, especially for children, the less of a scar there is and the faster they can heal from the trauma," she said.
Meanwhile, Nemcova is gearing up to compete on ABC's ballroom dancing series "Dancing With the Stars." The 12th season premieres on March 21 at 8 p.m. Nemcova has been practicing with partner Dmitry Chaplin for the past few weeks.
"Wow! That was great, yet hard day," she wrote on her Twitter page on March 8. "I'm trying to reprogram my whole body. The goal is to make from elephant butterfly ready for #DWTS."
Watch Petra Nemcova's interview on "Good Morning America" below.