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Jakarta Post

Deadly tsunami far from forgotten 13 years on

Thu, December 28, 2017   /   07:40 am
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    A house damaged by the 2004 tsunami is still standing. JP/Hotli Simanjuntak

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    The frame of a home still stands 13 years after the tsunami struck Aceh. JP/Hotli Simanjuntak

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    An Acehnese places a flower bouquet at the mass burial site during the commemoration of the tsunami in Banda Aceh, Dec. 26, 2017. JP/Hotli Simanjuntak

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    Two children pray at the mass burial site. JP/Hotli Simanjuntak

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    A young girl reads the Yassin verse while praying at the burial site. JP/Hotli Simanjuntak

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    A family prays at the burial site during the tsunami commemoration. JP/Hotli Simanjuntak

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    Acehnese people of Chinese descent pray at the burial site. JP/Hotli Simanjuntak

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    A man leads his family to pray at the burial site. JP/Hotli Simanjuntak

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    A woman spreads flower petals at the burial site. JP/Hotli Simanjuntak

Thirteen years after the deadliest tsunami struck Aceh and other parts of southern Asia, the Acehnese people are still in grief remembering the tragedy. They gather at burial sites in the province to pray for their relatives who died in the 2004 catastrophe.

There are two mass burial sites: Ule Lhue and Siron in Aceh Besar regency.
At Ule Lhue, around 20,000 people were buried – most of them were unrecognizable. Meanwhile, the number of people buried in Siron exceeds 50,000.

Acehnese whose family members went missing in the tsunami usually pay respects and pray at both burial sites, as they are unsure where their relatives have been buried.
Apart from praying, the Acehnese also commemorate the tragedy by holding tsunami drills and Quran recitals in mosques.
Major earthquakes hit Aceh on Dec. 26, 2004, at 8:10 a.m. local time. Witnesses recall how they were unable to stand up straight due to the tremor and fear.

A total of 200,000 people perished or vanished in the tragedy.

Humanitarian aid poured in from many countries to help several Asian countries – including Indonesia – overcome the tragedy. [yan]