TEN years ago today, nearly 250,000 lost their lives in the devastating tsunami that decimated coastal areas in parts of south east Asia. In what has been one of the world’s worst natural disasters, people around the globe were shocked by the extent of the destruction and the unforgiving nature of the tragedy. Entire communities were wiped out in an instant. Families were forever broken with the disappearance of loved ones. Tourists spending Christmas abroad never returned home. It was truly a tragic event of epic proportions.
What started as an earthquake miles from land in the Indian Ocean quickly turned into something far worse for the people of coastal Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and Malaysia. Waves up to 30 feet high crashed into towns, villages and tourist resorts, destroying everything in their wake. It was the third largest earthquake ever recorded (measuring 9.1-9.3 on the Richter scale) and caused the entire planet to vibrate nearly 1 centimetre.
Television pictures and photographs of the tsunami and its aftermath have stuck in the minds of all who saw them and are a stark reminder of how fragile the human race can be when faced with the furious force of nature. But a huge humanitarian effort to help those affected by the devastation illustrated just how touched by the event the worldwide community was.
Ten years ago today south east Asia experienced an awful event. This holiday season, people around the world will not forget those who lost their lives at Christmas time.