I remember sitting at my parents house on Christmas night '04 watching the shocking breaking news coming in from Asia. On Dec. 26, 2004, an earthquake with a magnitude of 9.1 to 9.3 (the second largest ever recorded) had struck out in sea off the coast of Indonesia, triggering a series of devastating tsunamis along the coasts of most landmasses bordering the Indian Ocean and killing more than 225,000 people.
These tsunamis hit in eleven countries and inundated coastal communities with waves up to 100 feet high. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in history, hitting Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand the hardest.
This past April Matt and I visited Phuket, Thailand, one of the areas hit hard in 2004. I remember standing looking down this street, unable to even fathom the devastation only 3.5 years earlier.
We visited a memorial, remembering those affected by this horrible tragedy.
Whole villages (similar to this one) were wiped out after waves flooded and destroyed the area.
After 2004, many areas placed tsunami warning systems and evacuation signs.
Below are a few pictures from online just days after the tsunami. Today take a few moments to remember the over 225,000 people who lost their lives and the thousands of others who lost their homes, loved ones or were otherwise affected.