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Memorials mark Asian tsunami's 10th anniversary

A 9.1-magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami on Dec. 26, 2004.

By Ed Adamczyk
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Memorials mark Asian tsunami's 10th anniversary
An Indonesian Woman searches through debris in the rain, where her house once stood, in the city of Aceh on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia after the 2004 tsunami. (UPI Photo/Jordon R. Beesley/Navy) | License Photo

ACEH , Indonesia, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Memorials formal and makeshift Friday marked the 10th anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami which killed over 220,000 people.

Aceh, Indonesia, hardest-hit and close to the epicenter of the 9.1-magnitude earthquake that triggered the wave of water, striking at least twelve countries on the rim of the Indian Ocean, had an official ceremony attended by Jusuf Kalla, Indonesia's vice president. Over 170,000 of the victims were in Aceh when the disaster struck.

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Sri Lanka marked the anniversary with a symbolic train passage, powered by a locomotive derailed by the tsunami on Dec. 26, 2004 and killing 1,270 aboard. The train "Ocean Queen Express" has become symbolic of the disaster in Sri Lanka, as has the 19th century Great Mosque in the capital, Colombo, one of the few buildings left standing after the tsunami.

"After the tsunami, no-one fights against each other, people live in harmony and peace till this day," said Asman Ismail, the mosque's imam.

At least 170,000 died in Aceh and surrounding communities.

The Swedish government will present a commemoration at Thailand's Orchid resort, where 543 vacationing Swedish citizens died.

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Across Asia, smaller remembrances were presented; flowers and prayers offered at fishing villages wiped out by the tsunami, and ceremonies at tsunami monuments in small cities along the coasts of the affected countries.

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