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'I'm Still Scared': Asia Remembers Tsunami That Killed 230,000

On the morning after Christmas Day in 2004, a 9.1 magnitude quake off northern Sumatra island triggered a tsunami with waves as high as 17.4 meters (57 feet) that swept over vulnerable coastal areas of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and nine other countries.

Memorials were scheduled in the Indonesian province of Aceh, where entire villages were flattened and more than 125,000 people perished in the giant waves. 

In Thailand, where more than 5,300 people were killed, including tourists visiting resort islands in the Andaman Sea, officials held a memorial ceremony and called for more awareness and preparedness for disasters.

Survivors from Ban Nam Khem, the worst-hit Thai village, will hold a candlelight vigil in the evening. At least 1,400 people were killed when waves struck the fishing village.

In India, where more than 10,000 people died in the tsunami, survivors also were to hold memorial ceremonies. More than 35,000 people died in Sri Lanka.

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Women pour milk into the waters of the Bay of Bengal during a prayer ceremony for the victims of the 2004 tsunami on the 15th anniversary of the disaster, at Marina beach in Chennai, India, December 26, 2019.
Women pour milk into the waters of the Bay of Bengal during a prayer ceremony for the victims of the 2004 tsunami on the 15th anniversary of the disaster, at Marina beach in Chennai, India, December 26, 2019. Photo:Reuters
Women hold plates with flower petals before scattering them in the waters of the Bay of Bengal during a prayer ceremony for the victims of the 2004 tsunami on the 15th anniversary of the disaster, at Marina beach in Chennai, India, December 26, 2019.
Women hold plates with flower petals before scattering them in the waters of the Bay of Bengal during a prayer ceremony for the victims of the 2004 tsunami on the 15th anniversary of the disaster, at Marina beach in Chennai, India, December 26, 2019. Photo:Reuters
People pray during a prayer ceremony for the victims of the 2004 tsunami on the 15th anniversary of the disaster, at Marina beach in Chennai, India, December 26, 2019.
People pray during a prayer ceremony for the victims of the 2004 tsunami on the 15th anniversary of the disaster, at Marina beach in Chennai, India, December 26, 2019. Photo:Reuters
Women gather during a prayer ceremony for the victims of the 2004 tsunami on the 15th anniversary of the disaster, at Marina beach in Chennai, India, December 26, 2019.
Women gather during a prayer ceremony for the victims of the 2004 tsunami on the 15th anniversary of the disaster, at Marina beach in Chennai, India, December 26, 2019. Photo:Reuters
Submerged buildings are seen near the pier at Ton Sai Bay in Thailand's Phi Phi island, December 28, 2004 after a tsunami hit the area.
Submerged buildings are seen near the pier at Ton Sai Bay in Thailand's Phi Phi island, December 28, 2004 after a tsunami hit the area. Photo:Reuters
An Indian woman mourns the death of her relative who was killed in a tsunami on Sunday in Cuddalore, south of the southern Indian city of Madras, December 28, 2004.
An Indian woman mourns the death of her relative who was killed in a tsunami on Sunday in Cuddalore, south of the southern Indian city of Madras, December 28, 2004. Photo:Reuters
Published 26 December 2019 (16 hours 20 minutes ago)
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