Asia marks 10 years since Indian Ocean tsunami

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Asia marks 10 years since Indian Ocean tsunami
Indonesia was hit the hardest by the Indian Ocean tsunami ten years ago. This was their way of commemorating the 160, 000 or more who died in Aceh Province alone. These were the scenes in the immediate aftermath when the massive wave struck. The death toll rose day by day as bodies littered the streets and others were washed ashore. Vice-President Jusuf Kalla said Friday's ceremony was as much about the future as the past.
(FILE PHOTO) In this composite image a comparison has been made between a scene in 2004 (LEFT) and 2014 (RIGHT) ***LEFT IMAGE*** ACEH, INDONESIA - JANUARY 8, 2005: An aerial shot taken from a US Navy Seahawk helicopter from carrier USS Abraham Lincoln shows devastation caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami to the west of Aceh on January 8, 2005 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka are the countries most affected by the December 26 earthquake-tsunami disaster. (Photo by Dimas Ardian/Getty Images) ***RIGHT IMAGE*** BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 11: An aerial view of coastal in Lampuuk prior to the ten year anniversary of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami on December 11, 2014 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Aceh was the worst hit location, being the closest major city to the epicentre of the 9.1 magnitude quake, suffering a huge hit from the following tsunami and resulting in around 130,000 deaths. Throughout the affected region of eleven countries, nearly 230,000 people were killed, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. (Photos by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)
(FILE PHOTO) In this composite image a comparison has been made between a scene in 2004 (TOP) and 2014 (BOTTOM) ***TOP IMAGE*** TON SAI BAY-PHI PHI ISLAND, THAILAND - DECEMBER 28: Bodies cover the area, waiting, to be transported by boat to Phuket and Krabi on December 28, 2004 in Phi Phi Village, on Ton Sai Bay, Thailand. On Phi Phi island hundreds were killed when an earthquake caused a Tsunami wave destroying everything in its path. The powerful Asian earthquake has effected coastal areas in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India in addition to the tourist isles of Thailand, the death toll is over 50,000. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) ***BOTTOM IMAGE*** PHI PHI ISLAND, THAILAND - DECEMBER 11: A construction worker walks where new buildings are taking place prior to the ten year anniversary of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami on December 11, 2014 in Phi Phi Village, Ton Sai Bay, Thailand. The tenth anniversary of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami killing almost 250,000 people will be remembered on December 26. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
(FILE PHOTO) In this composite image a comparison has been made between a scene in 2004 (TOP) and 2014 (BOTTOM) ***TOP IMAGE*** PHI PHI ISLAND, THAILAND - DECEMBER 28: Rescue workers carry a body from a shop, December 28, 2004 in Phi Phi Village, Ton Sai Bay, Thailand. Hundreds were killed on the island when an earthquake caused a Tsunami wave destroying everything in its path. The powerful Asian earthquake has effected coastal areas in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and the tourist isles of Thailand, the death toll is over 20,000. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) ***BOTTOM IMAGE*** PHI PHI ISLAND, THAILAND - DECEMBER 12: People walk along the streets prior to the ten year anniversary of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami on December 12, 2014 in Phi Phi Village, Ton Sai Bay, Thailand. The tenth anniversary of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami killing almost 250,000 people will be remembered on December 26. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
(FILE PHOTO) In this composite image a comparison has been made between a scene in 2004 (TOP) and 2014 (BOTTOM) ***TOP IMAGE*** ACEH, INDONESIA - JANUARY 8, 2005: An aerial shot taken from a US Navy Seahawk helicopter from carrier USS Abraham Lincoln shows devastation caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami to the west of Aceh on January 8, 2005 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka are the countries most affected by the December 26 earthquake-tsunami disaster. (Photo by Dimas Ardian/Getty Images) ***BOTTOM IMAGE*** BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 11: An aerial view of houses in Lampuuk prior to the ten year anniversary of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami on December 11, 2014 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Aceh was the worst hit location, being the closest major city to the epicentre of the 9.1 magnitude quake, suffering a huge hit from the following tsunami and resulting in around 130,000 deaths. Throughout the affected region of eleven countries, nearly 230,000 people were killed, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. (Photos by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)
(FILE PHOTO) In this composite image a comparison has been made between a scene in 2004 (LEFT) and 2014 (RIGHT) ***LEFT IMAGE*** BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 28: A scene of devastation is seen in the tsunami hit Indonesian City of Banda Aceh -150 miles from southern Asia's massive earthquake's epicenter - on December 28, 2004, Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Up to 55,000 are feared dead across South East Asia and the number is still rising with the possibility of disease outbreaks threatening to claim more as time goes on. (Photo by: Dimas Ardian/Getty Images) ***RIGHT IMAGE*** BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 11: People visit the Grand Mosque prior to the ten year anniversary of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami on December 11, 2014 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Aceh was the worst hit location, being the closest major city to the epicentre of the 9.1 magnitude quake, suffering a huge hit from the following tsunami and resulting in around 130,000 deaths. Throughout the affected region of eleven countries, nearly 230,000 people were killed, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. (Photos by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)
(FILE PHOTO) In this composite image a comparison has been made between a scene in 2004 (TOP) and 2014 (BOTTOM) ***TOP IMAGE*** BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 28: A scene of devastation is seen in the tsunami hit Indonesian City of Banda Aceh -150 miles from southern Asia's massive earthquake's epicenter - on December 28, 2004, Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Up to 55,000 are feared dead across South East Asia and the number is still rising with the possibility of disease outbreaks threatening to claim more as time goes on. (Photo by: Dimas Ardian/Getty Images) ***BOTTOM IMAGE*** BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 11: A cart drives by in Taman sari park prior to the ten year anniversary of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami on December 11, 2014 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Aceh was the worst hit location, being the closest major city to the epicentre of the 9.1 magnitude quake, suffering a huge hit from the following tsunami and resulting in around 130,000 deaths. Throughout the affected region of eleven countries, nearly 230,000 people were killed, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. (Photos by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)
(FILE PHOTO) In this composite image a comparison has been made between a scene in 2004 (TOP) and 2014 (BOTTOM) ***TOP IMAGE*** BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 28: (EDITORS NOTE : GRAPHIC CONTENT) A man walks amid dead bodies and debris thrown around by a Tsunami that hit the Indonesian City of Banda Aceh - 150 miles from southern Asia's massive earthquake's epicentre December 28, 2004 in Banda Ache, Indonesia. Up to 25,000 were feared dead and the possibility of disease outbreaks threatened to claim more lives. (Photo by Dimas Ardian/Getty Images) ***BOTTOM IMAGE*** BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 10: People drive along W.R Supratman street prior to the ten year anniversary of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami on December 10, 2014 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Aceh was the worst hit location, being the closest major city to the epicentre of the 9.1 magnitude quake, suffering a huge hit from the following tsunami and resulting in around 130,000 deaths. Throughout the affected region of eleven countries, nearly 230,000 people were killed, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. (Photos by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)
(FILE PHOTO) In this composite image a comparison has been made between a scene in 2004 (TOP) and 2014 (BOTTOM) ***TOP IMAGE*** BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 28: (EDITORS NOTE : GRAPHIC CONTENT) A man looks for relatives amid dead bodies and debris thrown around by a Tsunami that hit the Indonesian City of Banda Aceh - 150 miles from southern Asia's massive earthquake's epicentre December 28, 2004 in Banda Ache, Indonesia. Up to 25,000 were feared dead and the possibility of disease outbreaks threatened to claim more lives. (Photo by Dimas Ardian/Getty Images) ***BOTTOM IMAGE*** BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 10: People drive on Pembangunan street prior to the ten year anniversary of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami on December 10, 2014 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Aceh was the worst hit location, being the closest major city to the epicentre of the 9.1 magnitude quake, suffering a huge hit from the following tsunami and resulting in around 130,000 deaths. Throughout the affected region of eleven countries, nearly 230,000 people were killed, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. (Photos by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)
(FILE PHOTO) In this composite image a comparison has been made between a scene in 2004 (TOP) and 2014 (BOTTOM) ***TOP IMAGE*** BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 28: (EDITORS NOTE : GRAPHIC CONTENT) Acehnese walk amid dead bodies and debris thrown around by a Tsunami that hit the Indonesian City of Banda Aceh - 150 miles from southern Asia's massive earthquake's epicentre December 28, 2004 in Banda Ache, Indonesia. Up to 25,000 were feared dead and the possibility of disease outbreaks threatened to claim more lives. (Photo by Dimas Ardian/Getty Images) ***BOTTOM IMAGE*** BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 10: People drive along Panglima Polim street prior to the ten year anniversary of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami on December 10, 2014 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Aceh was the worst hit location, being the closest major city to the epicentre of the 9.1 magnitude quake, suffering a huge hit from the following tsunami and resulting in around 130,000 deaths. Throughout the affected region of eleven countries, nearly 230,000 people were killed, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. (Photos by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)
(FILE PHOTO) In this composite image a comparison has been made between a scene in 2004 (TOP) and 2014 (BOTTOM) ***TOP IMAGE*** BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA - JANUARY 8, 2005: An aerial shot taken from a US Navy Seahawk helicopter from carrier USS Abraham Lincoln shows devastation caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami to the west of Aceh on January 8, 2005 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka are the countries most affected by the December 26 earthquake-tsunami disaster. (Photo by Dimas Ardian/Getty Images) ***BOTTOM IMAGE*** BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 11: An aerial view of houses prior to the ten year anniversary of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami on December 11, 2014 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Aceh was the worst hit location, being the closest major city to the epicentre of the 9.1 magnitude quake, suffering a huge hit from the following tsunami and resulting in around 130,000 deaths. Throughout the affected region of eleven countries, nearly 230,000 people were killed, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. (Photos by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)
(FILE PHOTO) In this composite image a comparison has been made between a scene in 2004 (TOP) and 2014 (BOTTOM) ***TOP IMAGE*** PATONG, THAILAND - DECEMBER 27: A bank automated teller machine rests submerged in the pool of the Holiday Inn hotel near wrecked cars December 27, 2004 along Patong Beach, one of the worst hit provinces of Phuket, Thailand. A 9.0 magnitude earthquake caused a tsunami to hit the coastal areas of South East Asia, killing more than 20,000 people with thousands still missing. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) ***BOTTOM IMAGE*** PHUKET, THAILAND - DECEMBER 10: Children play in the pool at the Holiday Inn Phuket Resort and Hotel on December 10, 2014 at Patong Beach in Phuket, Thailand. The tenth anniversary of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami killing almost 250,000 people will be remembered on December 26. (Photo by Taylor Weidman/Getty Images)
(FILE PHOTO) In this composite image a comparison has been made between a scene in 2004 (TOP) and 2014 (BOTTOM) ***TOP IMAGE*** PHI PHI ISLAND, THAILAND - DECEMBER 28: All over Ton Sai Bay, the heart of Koh Phi Phi shops, restaurants and bungalows were totally wiped out following a Tsunami December 28, 2004 on Phi Phi Island, Thailand. Hundreds were killed when an earthquake caused a Tsunami wave destroying everything in its path. The powerful Asian earthquake has effected coastal areas in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and tourist isles of Thailand, the death toll is over 20,000. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) ***BOTTOM IMAGE*** PHI PHI ISLAND, THAILAND - DECEMBER 12 : A general view of the beach prior to the ten year anniversary of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami on December 12, 2014 in Phi Phi Village, Ton Sai Bay, Thailand. The tenth anniversary of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami killing almost 250,000 people will be remembered on December 26. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
(FILE PHOTO) In this composite image a comparison has been made between a scene in 2004 (TOP) and 2014 (BOTTOM) ***TOP IMAGE*** PATONG, THAILAND - DECEMBER 27: A Thai woman walks by the devastation at a hotel along Patong Beach, one of the worst hit provinces December 27, 2004 in Phuket, Thailand. A tsunami, caused by an earthquake estimated to be 9.0 in magnitude, is responsible for killing thousands of people throughout Asia. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) ***BOTTOM IMAGE*** PHUKET, THAILAND - DECEMBER 10: Tourists get massages at a small parlor near the beach on December 10, 2014 at Patong Beach in Phuket, Thailand. The tenth anniversary of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami killing almost 250,000 people will be remembered on December 26. (Photo by Taylor Weidman/Getty Images)
Photo by: Stephen Trupp/STAR MAX/IPx 12/26/04 This photo of Phuket, Thailand was taken moments after the Indian Ocean Tsunami ravaged Southern Asia on December 26, 2004. (Patong, Phuket, Thailand)
Photo by: Stephen Trupp/STAR MAX/IPx 12/26/04 This photo of Phuket, Thailand was taken moments after the Indian Ocean Tsunami ravaged Southern Asia on December 26, 2004. (Patong, Phuket, Thailand)
Giorgio Capriccioli of Italy releases flowers following ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 26, 2009, in Phuket, Thailand, to remember those killed in the 2004 tsunami five years ago. About 230,000 people were killed in 14 Asian and African countries after the tsunami struck following a massive undersea earthquake off Indonesia. (AP Photo/David Longstreath)
Western tourist and others gather to light candles during remembrance services at Dolphin Park on Patong Beach in Phuket, Thailand, Friday, Dec. 26, 2008, on the fourth anniversary of the Asian Tsunami.More than 230,000 people were killed when the tsunami struck Dec. 26, 2004. (AP Photo/David Longstreath)
Thais and others offer prayers during remembrance services at Dolphin Park on Patong Beach in Phuket, Thailand, Friday, Dec. 26, 2008, on the fourth anniversary of the Asian Tsunami. From India to Indonesia, communal prayers, shared meals and candlelight vigils were held Friday to honor victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. (AP Photo/David Longstreath)
A lone Buddhist monk makes his way past a tsunami warning sign Sunday, June 26, 2005, in Ban Nam Khem, Thailand. Sunday marks the six month anniversary of what many officials are calling the worst natural disaster of the century. More than 300, 000 are believed to have been killed throughout Asia in a massive tsunami on Dec. 26, 2004, that was triggered by an 8.2 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Indonesia. (AP Photo/David Longstreath)
Thais light up candle during the candlelight vigil for the tsunami victims at the Patong beach in Phuket, southern Thailand Monday, Jan. 31, 2005. Patong beach is one of the devastated areas when the tsunami struck six of Thailand's southern provinces on Dec. 26, 2004 killing at least 5,392 Thais and foreigners. The ceremony was held to help boosting the morale of survivors and to show to the world the importance of establishing a tsunami warning system. (AP Photo/Teh Eng Koon)
Thai Buddhist monk Somboon Thavaro meditates in the living room of a destroyed home Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2005, near Ban Nam Khem, Thailand. Somboon traveled to Ban Nam Khem to offer religious guidance to those whose homes and loved ones were lost in the massive tsunami which struck southern Thailand on Dec. 26, 2004. More than 5000 people are listed as killed by the tsunami with more than half of that foreign tourist. Thailand continues to dig out from the disaster. (AP Photo/David Longstreath)
A young Thai girl plays in a pile of donated clothes Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2005, near Khoa Lak, Thailand. Khoa Lak was destroyed on Dec. 26, 2004, when a massive tsunami struck southern Thailand. More than 5000 people are listed as killed by the tsunami with more than half of that foreign tourist. Thailand continues to dig out from the disaster. (AP Photo/David Longstreath)
An aerial view of Phi Phi island in Krabi province, southern Thailand Friday, Dec. 31, 2004. Teams of forensic experts packed bodies in dry ice Friday as Thailand's government announced its death toll in the tsunami disaster had doubled to more than 4,500 people, almost half of them foreigners, and hopes faded more survivors would be found. (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong)
The school portrait of a young Thai girl sits outside her destroyed home in Ban Nam Khem, Thailand, Friday, Dec. 31, 2004. Villagers report that the young girl was killed by the tsunami wave that struck the costal town which is north of Phuket, Thailand. More than 4,500 people, half of them foreigners, are listed dead in Thailand's tsunami wave disaster. (AP Photo/David Longstreath)
Volunteers search the beach for bodies near Khao Lak, Thailand, for those killed by a massive tsunami Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2004. More than 1,500 people have been killed in Thailand by a tidal wave that struck the popular beach area last Sunday. (AP Photo/David Longstreath)
A boat passes by a damaged hotel, Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2004, at Ton Sai Bay on Phi Phi Island, in Thailand. Officials said around 44,000 people were killed in 11 countries in southern Asia and Africa after massive tsunami waves smashed coastlines Sunday morning. The Thai government said more than 1,500 people died, among them more than 700 tourists. (AP Photo/Suzanne Plunkett)
In this Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014 photo, tsunami survivor Jamaliah, center, walks with Raudhatul Jannah, right, and Arif Pratama, whom she believes to be her two children separated with her when the village they lived in was hit by the killer waves in 2004, in their neighborhood in Meulaboh, Aceh province, Indonesia. Although there has been no DNA test the parents are convinced that the children belong them. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)
In this Nov. 27, 2014 photo, Dipa Dhaurali, 20, right, and Dipak Dhaurali, left, hold up a photograph of their father, Bhesraj Dhaurali, a tailor from Myanmar of Nepalese descent, and their mother after he was exhumed at the Tsunami Victims' Cemetery in Ban Bangmuang in Phang Nga province, Thailand. An Associated Press investigation helped track down two families with loved ones at the Tsunami Victims' Cemetery in southern Thailand. (AP Photo/Jerry Harmer)
In this Nov. 27, 2014 photo, the body of Bhesraj Dhaurali, a tailor from Myanmar of Nepalese descent, is exhumed at the Tsunami Victims' Cemetery in Ban Bangmuang in Phang Nga province, Thailand. An Associated Press investigation helped track down two families with loved ones at the Tsunami Victims' Cemetery in southern Thailand. (AP Photo/Jerry Harmer)
In this Nov. 27, 2014 photo, Dipa Dhaurali, 20, prays during the cremation of her father, Bhesraj Dhaurali, a tailor from Myanmar of Nepalese descent, after he was exhumed at the Tsunami Victims' Cemetery in Ban Bangmuang in Phang Nga province, Thailand. An Associated Press investigation helped track down two families with loved ones at the Tsunami Victims' Cemetery in southern Thailand. (AP Photo/Papitchaya Boonngok)
Photo by: Stephen Trupp/STAR MAX/IPx 12/26/04 This photo of Phuket, Thailand was taken moments after the Indian Ocean Tsunami ravaged Southern Asia on December 26, 2004. (Patong, Phuket, Thailand)
Photo by: Stephen Trupp/STAR MAX/IPx 12/26/04 This photo of Phuket, Thailand was taken moments after the Indian Ocean Tsunami ravaged Southern Asia on December 26, 2004. (Patong, Phuket, Thailand)
Photo by: Stephen Trupp/STAR MAX/IPx 12/26/04 This photo of Phuket, Thailand was taken moments after the Indian Ocean Tsunami ravaged Southern Asia on December 26, 2004. (Patong, Phuket, Thailand)
Photo by: Stephen Trupp/STAR MAX/IPx 12/26/04 This photo of Phuket, Thailand was taken moments after the Indian Ocean Tsunami ravaged Southern Asia on December 26, 2004. (Patong, Phuket, Thailand)
EDS NOTE GRAPHIC CONTENT - In this Dec. 28, 2004 image made from video, a man's body is removed by recovery workers from wreckage caused by the tsunami in Khao Lak, Thailand. The tsunami that struck on Dec. 26, 2004, was one of the world’s worst natural disasters in modern times. It followed a magnitude 9.1 earthquake that ruptured the sea floor off Indonesia’s Sumatra island, displacing billions of tons of water and sending waves 10 meters (33 feet) high radiating across the Indian Ocean at jetliner speeds. Associated Press journalists who covered the story recall some of the most poignant images from the disaster. (AP Photo/Jerry Harmer)
Photo by: Stephen Trupp/STAR MAX/IPx 12/26/04 This photo of Phuket, Thailand was taken moments after the Indian Ocean Tsunami ravaged Southern Asia on December 26, 2004. (Patong, Phuket, Thailand)
In this photo taken on Nov. 7, 2014, Aye Pu, mother of May Aye Nwe, 20, who was lost at sea during the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, wipes her tears during an interview at her home in Seint Paing, Myanmar. An Associated Press investigation helped track down two families with loved ones at the Tsunami Victims' Cemetery in southern Thailand, including Maye Aye Nwe’s mother. As the 10th anniversary of the disaster approaches, Aye Pu, now a 55-year-old widow, says her healing process can finally begin. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
In this photo taken on Nov. 7, 2014, survivor Khin Htway Yee, who was with her friend May Aye Nwe on a small boat when she was killed by the Indian Ocean tsunami on Dec. 26, 2004, is interviewed in Seint Paing, Myanmar. An Associated Press investigation helped track down two families with loved ones at the Tsunami Victims' Cemetery in southern Thailand which has 418 unclaimed bodies. Experts believe most of the bodies are migrant workers from Myanmar, who were traveling to Thailand illegally and had no documents. When they died, no one knew who they were, and those who did know were too scared to go to authorities. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
In this photo taken on Nov. 16, 2014, Aye Pu, mother of May Aye Nwe, 20, who was lost at sea during the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, holds up her daughter's student identification card during an interview at her home in Seint Paing, Myanmar. An Associated Press investigation helped track down two families with loved ones at the Tsunami Victims' Cemetery in southern Thailand, including Maye Aye Nwe’s mother. As the 10th anniversary of the disaster approaches, Aye Pu, now a 55-year-old widow, says her healing process can finally begin. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
In this photo taken on Nov. 7, 2014, a family photo of May Aye Nwe, center, Saw Htay, right, her late father, and her mother Aye Pu is displayed at her home in Seint Paing, Myanmar. An Associated Press investigation helped track down two families with loved ones at the Tsunami Victims' Cemetery in southern Thailand. As the 10th anniversary of the disaster approaches, Aye Pu, now a 55-year-old widow, says her healing process can finally begin. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
In this photo taken on Nov. 16, 2014, Aye Pu, mother of May Aye Nwe, 20, who was lost at sea during the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, is interviewed at her home in Seint Paing, Myanmar. An Associated Press investigation helped track down two families with loved ones at the Tsunami Victims' Cemetery in southern Thailand. As the 10th anniversary of the disaster approaches, Aye Pu, now a 55-year-old widow, says her healing process can finally begin. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
In this Nov. 27, 2014 photo, a metal plaque on a concrete stone serving as a headstone bears a reference number for May Aye Nwe, 20, from Myanmar, who died during the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, at the Tsunami Victims' Cemetery in Ban Bangmuang in Phang Nga province, Thailand. An Associated Press investigation helped track down two families with loved ones at the Tsunami Victims' Cemetery in southern Thailand. (AP Photo/Jerry Harmer)
In this Nov. 27, 2014 photo, Dipa Dhaurali, 20, seated left, and her brother Dipak Dhaurali, 19, standing third left, participate in the funeral of their father, Bhesraj Dhaurali, a tailor from Myanmar of Nepalese descent, after he was exhumed at the Tsunami Victims' Cemetery in Ban Bangmuang in Phang Nga province, Thailand. An Associated Press investigation helped track down two families with loved ones at the Tsunami Victims' Cemetery in southern Thailand. (AP Photo/Papitchaya Boonngok)
In this Nov. 27, 2014 photo, an earthmover digs up a plot of ground as the body of Bhesraj Dhaurali, a tailor from Myanmar of Nepalese descent, is exhumed at the Tsunami Victims' Cemetery in Ban Bangmuang in Phang Nga province, Thailand. An Associated Press investigation helped track down two families with loved ones at the Tsunami Victims' Cemetery in southern Thailand. (AP Photo/Jerry Harmer)
In this Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014 photo, tsunami survivor Jamaliah, center, sits in her living room with Raudhatul Jannah, left, and Arif Pratama, whom she believes to be her two children separated with her when the village they lived in was hit by the killer waves in 2004, in their house in Meulaboh, Aceh province, Indonesia. Although there has been no DNA test the parents are convinced that the children belong them. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)
In this Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014 photo, Arif Pratama, left, and Raudhatul Jannah who are believed to be the two children of tsunami survivor Jamaliah relax at the front porch of their house in Meulaboh, Aceh province, Indonesia. Although there has been no DNA test the parents are convinced that the children belong them and they have been separated from them when the village they lived in was hit by the killer waves in 2004. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)
In this Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014 photo, Raudhatul Jannah, left, and Arif Pratama who are believed to be the two children of tsunami survivor Jamaliah after being separated with her when the village they lived in was hit by the killer waves in 2004, stand at a front porch of their house during an interview in Meulaboh, Aceh province, Indonesia. Although there has been no DNA test the parents are convinced that the children belong them. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)
In this Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014 photo, Arif Pratama, left, and Raudhatul Jannah who are believed to be the two children of tsunami survivor Jamaliah after being separated with her when the village they lived in was hit by the killer waves in 2004, sit on the living room of their house during an interview in Meulaboh, Aceh province, Indonesia. Although there has been no DNA test the parents are convinced that the children belong them. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)
Septi Rangkuti (2nd L) holds his son Jumadi Rangkuti next to his wife Jamaliah (top R) and daugther Raudhatul Jannah (L) after being reunited with his missing son Arif Pratama Rangkuti (lower R) in Payakumbuh town on Sumatra island on August 19, 2014. The Indonesian boy was swept away by the devastating 2004 tsunami and has been reunited with his family a decade after he was given up for dead. His sister Raudhatul Jannah was also reunited with her family on August 7, 2014. Arif and her sister Raudhatul Jannah were carried off when huge waves struck their home in West Aceh district on December 26, 2004. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
Indonesian mother Jamaliah is reunited with her missing son Arif Pratama Rangkuti in Payakumbuh town on Sumatra island on August 19, 2014. The Indonesian boy was swept away by the devastating 2004 tsunami and has been reunited with his family a decade after he was given up for dead. His sister Raudhatul Jannah was also reunited with her family on August 7, 2014. Arif and her sister Raudhatul Jannah were carried off when huge waves struck their home in West Aceh district on December 26, 2004. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 25: Buddhist worshipers pray for victims to commemorate the ten anniversary of tsunami at mass grave on December 25, 2014 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Aceh was the worst hit location, being the closest major city to the epicentre of the 9.1 magnitude quake, suffering a huge hit from the following tsunami and resulting in around 130,000 deaths. Throughout the affected region of eleven countries, nearly 230,000 people were killed, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. (Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)
BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 25: Acehnese women attend for an collective zikr to commemorate the ten anniversary of tsunami at Baiturrahman grand mosque on December 25, 2014 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Aceh was the worst hit location, being the closest major city to the epicentre of the 9.1 magnitude quake, suffering a huge hit from the following tsunami and resulting in around 130,000 deaths. Throughout the affected region of eleven countries, nearly 230,000 people were killed, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. (Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)
BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA - DECEMBER 25: A woman puts a bouquet of flowers as pray for victims to commemorate the ten anniversary of tsunami at mass grave on December 25, 2014 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Aceh was the worst hit location, being the closest major city to the epicentre of the 9.1 magnitude quake, suffering a huge hit from the following tsunami and resulting in around 130,000 deaths. Throughout the affected region of eleven countries, nearly 230,000 people were killed, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. (Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)
PHANG NGA, THAILAND - DECEMBER 25: (CHINA OUT, SOUTH KOREA OUT) People commemorate the victims a day before the 10th anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami on December 25, 2014 in Phang Nga province, Thailand. Throughout the affected region of eleven countries, nearly 230,000 people were killed, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)
NAGAPATTINAM, INDIA DECEMBER 25: Leftover life-jackets lie in an old school building, used as a relief center during the 2004 Tsunami, in fishermens village of Akkaraipettai on December 25, 2014 in Nagapattinam, India. Nagapattinam was one of Tamil Nadus worst-hit places when the tsunami tore through south Asia 10 years ago. On December 26, 2004, a devastating tsunami triggered by an under-sea quake off Sumatra in Indonesia hit Tamil Nadus coast in Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Chennai and Kanyakumari. The killer waves claimed around 8,000 lives - men, women and children. Some 6,100 died in Nagapattinam alone. Over 230,000 were killed in the tsunami in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and the Maldives. (Photo by Gurinder Osan/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
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BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) -- Crying onlookers took part in beachside memorials and religious services across Asia on Friday to mark the 10th anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami that left more than a quarter million people dead in one of modern history's worst natural disasters.

The devastating Dec. 26, 2004, tsunami struck a dozen countries around the Indian Ocean rim, killing 230,000 people. It eradicated entire coastal communities, decimated families and crashed over tourist-filled beaches the morning after Christmas. Survivors waded through a horror show of corpse-filled waters.

As part of Friday's solemn commemorations, survivors, government officials, diplomats and families of victims gathered in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and elsewhere. Moments of silence were planned in several spots to mark the exact time the tsunami struck, a moment that united the world in grief.

"I cannot forget the smell of the air, the water at that time ... even after 10 years," said Teuku Ahmad Salman, a 51-year-old resident who joined thousands of people in a prayer service in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.

"I cannot forget how I lost hold of my wife, my kids, my house," he said sobbing, recounting that he refused to believe for years that they had died but finally gave up looking for them.

The disaster was triggered by a magnitude-9.1 earthquake, the region's most powerful in 40 years, that tore open the seabed off of Indonesia's Sumatran coast, displacing billions of tons of water and sending waves roaring across the Indian Ocean at jetliner speeds as far away as East Africa.

Indonesia's Aceh province, which was closest to the quake's epicenter, was hit first and hardest. Initially, the quake toppled homes and buildings and sent panicked communities rushing into the streets. About 20 minutes later, a wall of water up to 10 meters (33 feet) high surged inland for kilometers (miles) with seemingly unstoppable force, carrying along trees, houses, train cars - and thousands of people - in a churning rush.

More than 170,000 people died in Indonesia alone, more than three-quarters of total death toll.

Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla led a prayer ceremony in Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh province, on Friday. He and other officials placed flowers at a mass grave where thousands of unknown tsunami victims were buried. A separate event was held to thank ambassadors from the many foreign countries that helped Aceh recover after the disaster.

"Here in this field 10 years ago ... we tearfully saw thousands of corpses lying," Kalla said. "No words can describe our human feelings at that time - confused, shocked, sad, scared - in seeing the suffering of the people in Aceh. But we could not remain in sadness, Aceh had to rise again, and all Indonesians in this archipelago helped, people all over the world offered their assistance."

"In this moment, we also say thanks to the world, which has helped Aceh from the post-disaster condition 10 years ago," he said.

In Thailand, more than 5,000 people were killed, about half of whom were tourists celebrating the holiday season on the country's renowned white-sand beaches. Foreigners from 38 nations were killed by the waves that struck southern Thailand.

More than 100 survivors of the tsunami along with bereaved relatives from Germany, Austria and Switzerland held a memorial service on a beach in Khao Lak, Thailand. They walked into the waves and lay flowers in the warm Andaman Sea, while diplomats placed wreaths on the sand.

"I didn't expect it would touch me so much after 10 years again because I've come back every now and then in recent years," said tsunami survivor Claudia Geist of Germany, who was so badly injured during the disaster she almost lost her leg. "But this has been a completely different experience now connecting with all the other people."

Later in the day, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was to lead a ceremony at a beached police boat that was out at sea when the tsunami struck and was carried 2 kilometers (more than 1 mile) inland by the massive waves. It has become a permanent memorial to the power of the waves that day.

In Sri Lanka, the water swept a passenger train from its tracks, killing nearly 2,000 people in a single blow. A symbolic recreation of the train journey was planned as part of Friday's ceremonies.

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