Ten years on: Indonesia remembers the tsunami

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By Joanna Gill  with Reuters, AP
Ten years on: Indonesia remembers the tsunami

<p>Ten years on from the tsunami that swept across the Indian Ocean killing more than 230,000 people, special services have begun in the region to remember the tragedy.</p> <p>Indonesia saw the largest number of losses. In Banda Aceh a special service was held in honour of the victims.</p> <p>It was on December 26 when the 9.3 magnitude earthquake led to waves of over 30 metres sweeping across coastal communities in the Indian Ocean.</p> <p>With nearly 13,000 islands, Indonesia’s geography presents a particularly tricky challenge for disaster prevention. In Banda Aceh the lack of warning contributed to the dramatic death toll.</p> <p>Andi Ekasakya Head of the Tsunami and Disaster Mitigation Research Center (<span class="caps">TDMRC</span>) says that the country has made huge progress in its early warning systems.</p> “Since 2012, we can not only warn communities within five minutes but we can also tell when a tsunami will hit, at what time, and how high the waves will be. Our recordings how, in fact it was not as much as five minutes, but an average of 4 minutes 47 seconds.” <p>In places like Banda Aceh, where residents have just 20 minutes to reach high ground, every second counts to save lives from the power of the waves.</p>