India was one of the 13 countries affected by the 2004 tsunami.
Many fishing nets and boats lay idle along the country’s coast to mark the fifth anniversary of this disaster.
In a town in Tamil Nadu, where over 6000 people died, people gathered to hold silent prayers and offer flowers in memory of the victims.
In Sri Lanka, there were more prayers. Among those remembered were the 2,000 who died when tsunami waters hit a train heading to the capital, Colombo. A woman who was on the train recalled
the force of the impact knocked her unconscious She was covered by dead bodies until a Buddhist monk, searching for survivors, checked her pulse and realised she was alive.
In Thailand, waves swamped six coastal provinces. Several thousand foreign tourists were among the dead.
British tourist, Sue Azzopardi said: “When it happened 5 years ago, I worked for the Red Cross and we were raising money and clothing for all the people coming back to London, all the people that were affected. I just think it’s the most incredible celebration of life.”
In total, 230, 000 people died in the 2004 tsunami.
The United Nations has warned Asian governments in areas prone to catastrophes to set aside one-tenth of their development funds to limit the risk of future disasters.
In an eerie reminder of the 2004 tsunami, a powerful earthquake struck Indonesia today, at a depth of around 60 kilometres but there were no reports of immediate damage.