Tsunami 2nd anniversary is marked

Tuesday 26 December 2006 16.09
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Sri Lanka - Anniversary marked
Sri Lanka - Anniversary marked
Sri Lanka - Rebuilding continues
Sri Lanka - Rebuilding continues
Thailand - Prayers for tsunami dead
Thailand - Prayers for tsunami dead

Survivors of the Asian Tsunami on St Stephen's Day two years ago have marked today's second anniversary of the tragedy by holding ceremonies and events in the countries affected.

Four Irish people who were holidaying in Thailand at the time of the disaster were among those who lost their lives.

Irish people have raised more than €100m towards the tsunami relief effort, along with an unprecedented amount of donations from around the world.

Two years ago, with no comprehensive tsunami early-warning system in place, a 9.3 magnitude undersea earthquake triggered tidal waves that devastated many coastal areas around the Indian Ocean.

At least 220,000 people died and hundreds of thousands more were left homeless in the region.

In Indonesia's Aceh province, which suffered 168,000 dead, residents gathered in mosques for small private ceremonies to mark the anniversary.

Aceh's commemorations were made even more sombre by the floods and landslides in recent days that have killed around 110 people.

Across Thailand's coast, reconstruction has generally been swift, particularly in tourist areas like Phuket and Ban Nam Khem.

But although most people now have a roof over their heads, much of the enormous amount of aid money pledged after the disaster has not been delivered.