Remembering The 2004 Tsunami

26/12/2014 8:55 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST
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DIBYANGSHU SARKAR via Getty Images
NAGAPATTINAM, INDIA: Indian survivors of the December 2004 tsunami burst into tears after they performed a Puja (prayers) for their relatives killed in the tragedy on the beach in Nagapattinam some 350 kms south of Chennai, 26 December 2005. India offered tearful tributes to the thousands killed in last year's tsunami with countrywide memorial services, silent marches and beachside ceremonies. India lost more than 16,000 people as villages were wiped out along its southern coast and on the Andaman and Nicobar island chain, and suffered material damage estimated by the United Nations at 2.5 billion dollars. In Nagapattinam, India's worst hit district in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, where almost 6,000 people died, each village found its own way to remember the destruction. AFP PHOTO/Dibyangshu SARKAR (Photo credit should read DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

On the morning of Dec. 26, 2004, a magnitude-9.1 earthquake whose epicenter was located 160 km off Indonesia's Sumatra coast, unleashed the most powerful tsunami recorded in history.

It killed about 230,000 people in 14 countries.

India lost more than 16,000 people as villages were wiped out along its southern coast and on the Andaman and Nicobar Island chain.

  • CRY FOR HELP
    AP Photo/Indian Coast Guard, HO
    In this photo released by the Indian Coast Guard, tsunami victims from Hut Bay stand next to the word HELP written on the ground in India's Andaman and Nicobar archipelago on Dec. 28, 2004. Officials said fate and the ancient knowledge of secret signals in the wind and sea combined to save the five indigenous tribes living for centuries in the Andaman and Nicobar islands from the catastrophic tsunami.
  • Katchal Island
    DESHAKALYAN CHOWDHURY via Getty Images
    Katchal Island, part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, was one of the worst affected of the islands having lost some 90 percent of it's population in the devastation by the tsunami waves which struck on 26 December 2004.
  • North Sentinel Island
    (AP Photo/Indian Coast Guard, HO)
    In this photo released by the Indian Coast Guard, a view of the North Sentinel Island from which the sea retracted after the Dec. 26 tsunami, and exposed coral reefs, foreground, in India's Andaman and Nicobar archipelago.
  • North Sentinel Tribal Man
    AP Photo/Indian Coast Guard, HO
    In this photo released by the Indian Coast Guard, a Sentinel tribal man aims with his bow and arrow at an Indian Coast Guard helicopter as it flies over the Andaman and Nicobar islands on Dec, 28, 2004.
  • Port Blair City
    (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
    An aerial view of the Port Blair city and the broken jetty due to the tsunami in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • Submerged
    AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi
    An aerial photo of residential houses submerged after the Dec. 26, 2004 tsunami in Port Blair city, one month after the tidal waves hit the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
  • Nagore
    AP Photo/Saurabh Das
    A mirror in a destroyed home reflects debris yet to be cleared at a fishermen's village in Nagore in Tamil Nadu.
  • Nagappattinam
    AP Photo/Gurinder Osan
    Clearing debris of damaged houses at a fishermen's colony hit by tsunami in Nagappattinam in the state of Tamil Nadu.
  • Help
    AP Photo/Gurinder Osan
    A local fisherwoman gestures for assistance to a navy helicopter hovering over the tsunami-hit fishermen's colony in Nagappattinam, Tamil Nadu.
  • Help
    AP Photo/Gurinder Osan
    Local fisherwomen gesture for assistance to a navy helicopter hovering over Nagappattinam, Tamil Nadu.
  • Death
    AP Photo/Jasper Juinen
    An unidentified woman weeps over the loss of her three children at Tharangambadi, India.
  • Loss
    AP Photo/Saurabh Das
    An unidentified woman cries next to her broken home at Nagappattinam in Tamil Nadu. Locals said that all her family members were washed away by the tidal waves.
  • Mourning
    DIBYANGSHU SARKAR via Getty Images
    A tsunami survivor is watched by her grandson as she mourns for her relatives while sitting amongst tsunami debris in Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu.
  • Burning
    AP Photo/Saurabh Das
    Sitting on a boat, a woman watches debris of destroyed homes being burned at the fishermen's village in Nagappattinam, Tamil Nadu.
  • Destruction
    AP Photo/Jasper Juinen
    A survivor of the tsunami rests his head on his hand behind a destroyed house at Devanampattinam, Tamil Nadu.
  • Evacuation
    AP Photo/Manish Swarup
    Tsunami victims evacuate from Nicobar in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on Dec. 29, 2004
  • Leaving
    AP Photo/Gurinder Osan
    Villagers leave the fishermen's colony that was hit by the tsunami in Nagappattinam, Tamil Nadu.
  • Displaced
    DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images
    An Indian family of tsunami survivors are silhouetted against the setting sun as they return to their shelter with their belongings in Nagapattinam district, Tamil Nadu.
  • Relief camp
    AP Photo/Gurinder Osan
    Tsunami victims at a relief camp reach for rice packets being distributed in Nagappattinam, Tamil Nadu.
  • Food
    AP Photo/Manish Swarup
    Loveleena, 4, receives food at a relief camp in Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on Jan 5, 2005.
  • Water
    AP Photo/Saurabh Das
    Women quench their thirst from distributed safe water packets while waiting in a queue to receive food rations at Nagappattinam, Tamil Nadu in Jan 2, 2005
  • Clothes
    AP Photo/M.Lakshman
    People who were affected by tsunamis look through clothes donated by various organizations at Nechikuppam, Tamil Nadu.
  • Grief
    DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images
    One year after the tsunami, survivors burst into tears after they performed prayers for their relatives killed by the tidal waves in Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu. India offered tearful tributes to the thousands killed in the 2004 tsunami with countrywide memorial services, silent marches and beachside ceremonies.
  • Recovery
    AP Photo/Gurinder Osan
    Indian army personnel assist local fishermen in removing a boat from the debris at the tsunami-hit fishermen's colony in Nagappattinam, Tamil Nadu.
  • Rebuilding
    Ami Vitale via Getty Images
    Eight months after the Tsunami, repairing a bridge that was destroyed by the tidal waves that struck the village of Muzuku Thurai, Tamil Nadu on December 26, 2004.
  • Remembering
    AP Photo/Gautam Singh
    Schoolchildren hold candles as they participate in a public meeting to mark six months of the tsunami in Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu.
  • Homage
    AP Photo
    A man sprinkles water on sand sculptures depicting tsunami victims at Marina Beach in Chennai on Dec. 26, 2009.

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