Asia remembers tsunami victims
The magnitude 9.0 earthquake that ripped apart the ocean floor off Sumatra killed an estimated 230,000 people in a dozen nations.india Updated: Dec 25, 2006 14:58 IST
Two years after a devastating tsunami crashed into Asian coastlines, villagers in hardest-hit Indonesia were preparing for future disasters, with thousands expected to flee their homes by foot and car on Tuesday as part of an early warning drill.
Elsewhere across the tsunami disaster-zone, survivors and other mourners will visit mass graves, light candles along beaches, and listen to temple bells chiming to mark the moment the 2004 waves hit.
"We hope this will be part of the healing process for those who lost loved ones," said Chamroen Tankasem, a government official in southern Thailand, a tropical paradise that was turned into a graveyard in a matter of minutes.
"It will also help us remember what happened, what we have learned since ... And what more needs to be done for the people affected."
The magnitude 9.0 earthquake that ripped apart the ocean floor off Indonesia's Sumatra island on December 26, 2004 spawned giant waves that fanned out across the Indian Ocean at jetliner speeds, killing an estimated 230,000 people in a dozen nations.
Indonesia, which is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on an arc of fault lines, accounted for nearly two-thirds of those killed.
Ten thousand people are scheduled to take part in an evacuation drill on the resort island of Bali, which was unaffected by the 2004 tsunami, fleeing homes in four villages after authorities set off sirens, said Pari Atmono, a Ministry of Research and Technology official.