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Jakarta Post

What has the 2004 tsunami really taught us?

  • Bekele Geleta

Jakarta   /   Sat, December 26 2009   /  12:49 pm

Five years ago, on Dec. 26, 2004, a massive earthquake off the coast of Sumatra created a tsunami that swept across the Indian Ocean. Millions of people around the world watched in horror as the aftermath of the biggest single natural disaster in living memory unfolded on their television screens. Almost 230,000 people lost their lives across 14 countries. In its wake came extraordinary generosity. Over the past five years the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has channeled public donations into recovery programs that have supported almost five million people across the four worst affected countries - Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Maldives. The immense task of reconstructing homes, schools and hospitals is almost complete, allowing us to see more clearly what we have learned from the tsunami and how it has fundamentally changed the way w...