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Asian Tsunami Survivors Look Back at 6 Months of Suffering

  • VOA News

Nations around the world are remembering the catastrophic tsunami that devastated a string of Indian Ocean countries six months ago today Sunday.

The event was touched off December 26th by an enormous underwater earthquake off the coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island. The quake triggered massive waves that pounded coastlines in scores of countries, including Thailand, Sri Lanka and India and as far away as Somalia.

The disaster claimed more than 175,000 lives and left nearly 2 million people homeless. Indonesia, which suffered the worst damage and heaviest casualties, held a ceremony Saturday to mark the half year since the earthquake and tsunami.

Elsewhere, survivors are recalling their stories and mourning those who lost their lives in the event.

The United Nations says the next six months will focus on reconstruction in affected countries--including rebuilding thousands of homes, buildings and infrastructure. Aid efforts will also look to putting thousands of people back to work.

U.N. estimates say reconstruction will take five to 10 years. So far, the international community has pledged about seven billion dollars for reconstruction efforts.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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