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Indonesia commemorates 2004 tsunami amid rescue operations

media Pandeglang, on the Island of Java. Rescue teams are still mobilize to recover bodies or helping victims of the Saturday Tsunami Antara Foto/Muhammad Adimaja/via REUTERS

Wednesday marks the 14th anniversary of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, one of the worst natural disasters in history. Commemorations took place amid rescue operations following Saturday’s tsunami caused by a volcanic eruption.

Thousands of Indonesians gathered at mass graves Wednesday to mark the 14th anniversary of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, one of the worst natural disasters in history.

Nearly 47,000 people are buried at Aceh Besar regency, under a grassy field. Black rocks have been added to symbolize a tomb.

Meanwhile, search and rescue teams are racing to help victims of the latest killer wave that hit Indonesia on Saturday, killing over 400 people and injuring thousands.


Rescue operations after the December 2018 tsunami in Indonesia have been marred by torrential floods and difficult accessibility to remote areas Antara Foto/Akbar Nugroho Gumay/ via REUTERS

One of the worst natural disasters in history

On Boxing Day 2004, nearly 170,000 people died when the quake struck Aceh, a province in the northern tip of Sumatra Island.

The massive waves that followed also slammed into coastal areas as far away as Somalia and killed about 50,000 people in other countries around the Indian Ocean, bringing total deaths to about 220,000.

Last week, the remains of more than 30 victims of the 2004 tsunami were found by villagers near a construction site in Aceh.

Another dozen bodies were later discovered at the same site.

Rescue operations amid fears of a new tsunami

Indonesian search and rescue teams Wednesday plucked stranded residents from remote islands.

Isolated communities have been desperate for aid in the aftermath of a volcano-triggered tsunami that killed over 400.

Hovever, torrential rains hampered rescue operations, adding to the misery of grief-stricken victims.

Anak Krakatoa is one of 127 active volcanoes which run the length of the Indonesian archipelago (File photo of an eruption in July 2018) AFP

Officials warned another killer wave could hit the stricken area.

The disaster agency cautioned residents to stay clear of the coast, as fresh activity at the Anak Krakatoa volcano, which sits in the middle of the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra islands, threatened to spark another tsunami.


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