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Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and India Mark Tsunami Anniversary


Indian Ocean countries hit hardest by the 2004 tsunami have conducted ceremonies marking the first anniversary of the disaster that claimed an estimated 230,000 lives.

In Banda Aceh, Indonesia, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono turned on a new tsunami warning siren at 8:16 a.m. local time Monday morning (0116 UTC), the moment the first wave struck.

Indonesia's death toll is thought to be around 170,000. Sri Lanka's president, Mahinda Rajapaske, unveiled a memorial to the victims in the village of Peraliya, where the giant wave derailed a passenger train and killed more than one thousand people.

Sri Lanka has put its number of dead at more than 30,000.

Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra laid a foundation stone for a memorial at Khao Lak, the beach resort hardest hit by the tsunami.

More than 8,000 people were killed in Thailand. India also held tributes for its estimated 18,000 victims.

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

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