The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 2,30,000 people across 13 countries in Asia, including Indonesia, Thailand, India, and Sri Lanka is marking its 15th anniversary today. A day after Christmas, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake in northern Sumatra island triggered a tsunami that swept over vulnerable coastal areas in the Indian Ocean and killed more than 2,00,000 people.
People in Indonesia scheduled memorials in the province of Aceh, where more than 1,25,000 people died as entire villages were swept away by waves rising as high as 57 feet. Since the 2004 tsunami, the area has been rebuilt with some 25,000 buildings created inside high risks zone. The government has built schools, residential complexes, commercial buildings, and government offices. People of Aceh are observing a day of silence for those who lost their lives in the devastating disaster. As many as 1,200 people died in last year's tsunami that hit Indonesia after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake.
In Thailand where around 5,300 people lost their lives, including the tourists who were visiting the country, a memorial ceremony was held by officials who called for more awareness towards natural disasters. A resort town of Khao Lak was the most affected town in Thailand. In Thailand, December 26 has been designated as National Accident Prevention Day. Officers also paid tribute to King Maha Vajiralongkorn's nephew, Bhumi Jensen who lost his life while jet-skiing at the time of disaster.
In India, more than 10,000 people lost their lives in parts of Tamil Nadu, Odisha, and Andaman-Nicobar islands. The most affected area in India was the Andaman-Nicobar islands beneath the bay of Bengal where many farmers had lost their land and livelihood in the deadly tsunami. Meanwhile, in Sri Lanka, 35,000 people were killed after the tsunami hit the island nation in the Indian Ocean.