The dawn of December 26th brought back painful memories of the people lost in the 2004 Tsunami, which killed 22,000 people in 14 different countries. 10 years later, people hold memorial services across Asia on Friday.
Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla remembered how the tragedy destroyed the country. He said,"This commemoration ceremony is not only to pray for the victims and thank the people around the world, but it is a time when we learn how to resolve the problem, as the lesson [from the tsunami] taught us, how to resolve a complicated problem by uniting as one."
Similarly in Thailand, which was the second worst hit after Indonesia, Prime Minister Prayuth Chanocha led a remembrance ceremony that was attended by survivors, foreign dignitaries and relatives.
Chanocha said,"I would like to take this opportunity to pay a tribute to the tsunami victims of both Thai and foreign nationals who have lost their lives. The great loss at that time is a reminder for everyone to be well prepared for natural disaster and learn how to protect themselves, lessen the damage and losses [in the future], as well as enhance efficient warning system and disaster mitigation efforts."
The families of victims' shared their stories too. For instance, Swiss National Katia Paulo was there to remember her late boyfriend. "I had my back to the ocean. My boyfriend called me. ... The only thing I remember is his face. I knew I had to run away, then the wave caught me," the 45-year-old said.
The affected in India and Sri Lanka too had a share of their history as they set up memorials to honor the dead. However amid this, authorities also share a learning lesson. They showcase memorials that display advanced warning systems, which also prove to be a new inclusion in the countries' early warning system.