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The Indian Ocean Tsunami

The Indian Ocean Tsunami
Highlights

December 26 marks the 10th anniversary of one of the deadliest natural disasters in world history: a tsunami, triggered by a massive earthquake off the Indonesian coast, that left more than 230,000 people dead in 14 countries and caused about $10 billion in damage.

December 26 marks the 10th anniversary of one of the deadliest natural disasters in world history: a tsunami, triggered by a massive earthquake off the Indonesian coast, that left more than 230,000 people dead in 14 countries and caused about $10 billion in damage.

A dozen countries were hit, from Indonesia to India to Africa's east coast. Some 230,000 people were killed in the Indian Ocean tsunami set off by a magnitude 9.1 earthquake.

When the powerful tsunami smashed into this Indonesian city ten years ago, the only structures left standing in many neighborhoods were mosques. For the hundreds who found refuge within their walls, the buildings’ lifesaving role has not been forgotten - and for many, that experience strengthened their faith.

Architectural experts say the mosques in Banda Aceh survived because they were sturdily built and had stronger foundations than surrounding structures, many of which were likely constructed of shoddier materials. But many survivors believe the mosques were spared by divine intervention.

In this Jan. 21, 2005 AP file photo, a local villager reads verses from the Quran at the tsunami-damaged Al-Mafirah Mosque in Kajhu, outside Banda Aceh, Indonesia.

In this Dec. 28, 2004 AP file photo, a boat passes by a damaged hotel, at Ton Sai Bay on Phi Phi Island, in Thailand. villagers walk with their belongings past two boats that were washed ashore by tidal waves at Nagappattinam, in Tamil Nadu.

In this Dec. 26, 2004 AP file photo, tidal waves wash through houses at Maddampegama, about 60 kilometers (38 miles) south of Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Thais walk outside a Buddhist temple, near Takuapa, Thailand, where more than 1,000 bodies had been gathered.

In this Jan. 1, 2005 AP file photo, People, rear with mask, grieve as earthmovers clear debris of their damaged house at a fishermen's colony which was hit by a tsunami, in Nagappattinam, in Tamil Nadu.

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.

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