Indian ocean countries mark fifth anniversary of Asian Tsunami

By agency reporter
December 26, 2009

Countries across the Indian Ocean have marked the fifth anniversary of the Asian tsunami which killed almost 250,000 people, rendered many more homeless, and left properties and businesses devastated.

In Indonesia's Aceh province, where 170,000 died, thousands of people held prayers in public mosques and private homes.

Churches in East Asia remembered tsunami victims at their services.

On beaches in Thailand, Buddhist monks chanted prayers as mourners held up pictures of loved ones lost in the catastrophe five years ago.

Hundreds of tourists also returned to Phuket island to mark one of the worst natural disasters of modern times.

A moment of silence was observed on Phuket's popular Patong Beach marking the time that the tsunami struck.

Restoration and development work has been extensive, but the impact of the tsunami on the local culture and economy remains deep.

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