- Title: File of 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami aftermath ahead of 15th anniversary
- Date: 19th December 2019
- Summary: Indonesia's northern province of Aceh bore the brunt of the disaster, where a total of 128,858 people were killed, according to statistics compiled by government and aid agencies. 572,926 people were displaced and 179,312 buildings and homes destroyed in Indonesia alone as the wave swallowed up large parts of the coastline. Day by day, the death toll rose, as bodies littered the streets, waiting to be collected, and others continued to wash ashore, decaying among piles of debris. Hospitals and morgues struggled to cope with injured and bewildered victims and bloated corpses. ALONG NORTH WESTERN COASTLINE, ACEH PROVINCE, INDONESIA (FILE - DECEMBER 28, 2004) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) AERIAL SHOTS SHOWING DESTRUCTION FLATTENED TOWNS BETWEEN TAPAKTUAN AND MEULABOH MEULABOH, INDONESIA (FILE - JANUARY 4, 2005) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) VARIOUS AERIALS OF FLOODED LAND NIAS ISLAND, OFF SUMATRAN COAST, INDONESIA (FILE - DECEMBER 31, 2004) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) AERIAL SHOTS SHOWING DESTRUCTION BANDA ACEH, ACEH PROVINCE (FILE - DECEMBER 28, 2004) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) MASS OF DEBRIS IN FRONT OF AIRCRAFT / TWO MEN STANDING NEXT TO MOTORBIKE
- Embargoed: 2nd January 2020 00:48
- Keywords: 2004 tsunami Banda Aceh India Indonesia Sri Lanka Thailand aftermath anniversary disaster file
- Location: ACEH PROVINCE, MEULABOH, OFF SUMATRAN COAST, INDONESIA/ GALLE, HAMBANTOTA, KARATPITIYA, MULLAITTIVO, SRI LANKA/ PHUKET, PHI PHI ISLAND, PHANG NGA, KHAO LAK, THAILAND/ TAMIL NADU, INDIA
- City: ACEH PROVINCE, MEULABOH, OFF SUMATRAN COAST, INDONESIA/ GALLE, HAMBANTOTA, KARATPITIYA, MULLAITTIVO, SRI LANKA/ PHUKET, PHI PHI ISLAND, PHANG NGA, KHAO LAK, THAILAND/ TAMIL NADU, INDIA
- Country: Various
- Topics: Disaster/Accidents,Earthquakes/Volcanoes/Tsunami,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA001BANUVYF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES
December 26 will mark the 15th anniversary of a deadly earthquake and tsunami that struck a large part of Asia, claiming the lives of over 226,000 people, and leaving nearly 2 million homeless.
Over 50,000 bodies were never recovered.
When a 9.15-magnitude quake opened a fault line deep beneath the ocean on Dec. 26, 15 years ago, it triggered a wave as high as 17.4 meters (57 feet) which crashed ashore in more than a dozen countries, wiping some communities off the map in seconds.
Indonesia was the worst hit, 166,000 either dead or missing. Massive reconstruction aid in Banda Aceh has rebuilt a new city on top of the ruins, but the devastation reached as far away as the east coast of Africa, including countries like Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania.
Those killed in 2004 received no formal warning of the approaching waves and were left with no chance to get out of the way.
Since then, millions of dollars have gone into building a vast network of seismic and tsunami information centres, setting up sea and coastal instruments and erecting warning towers.
But doubts linger about how ready countries on the Indian Ocean really are for another giant wave. The past decade has seen more than $400 million spent across 28 countries on an early-warning system comprising 101 sea-level gauges, 148 seismometers and nine buoys, but there is concern about the effectiveness and maintenance of the system.
Some experts say complacency is leaving millions vulnerable and governments still warn of the ever-present risks.
(Production: Joseph Campbell, Phyllis Xu)
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