2004 Indian Ocean tsunami

10 years on

A regional crisis

On 26 December, 2004, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake off the northern coast of Sumatra triggered a deadly tsunami that swept across the Indian Ocean, killing over 226,000 people and causing massive destruction along coastal areas of 14 countries.
Map of the region

Tsunami stories

Tsunami Stories is a selection of powerful first-hand accounts from survivors and the people on the front line of the emergency response in the four worst-affected countries: Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Thailand.
Indonesia video thumbnail

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka video thumbnail

Maldives video thumbnail

Thailand video thumbnail

Meet the Red Cross worker charged with the difficult task of collecting bodies in Indonesia and how the gruelling job eventually led him to his missing brother; hear how a travel agent in Thailand who fought her way through the water went on to dedicate years to helping her community recover from physical damage and the emotional trauma; find out how a Sri Lanka fisherman spurred on to learn water safety skills went on to save dozens of lives; and meet the Maldivian father who built a future on a new island after the tsunami stole his family home.
Tsunami damage

A global response

Since the tsunami struck, over 4.8 million people have benefited from support provided by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
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    Homes built with Red Cross Red Crescent funding

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    Transitional shelters built in Indonesia, the Maldives and Sri Lanka

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    Hospitals built or rehabilitated

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    Schools built

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    people gained access to an improved water source

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    households received help to replace or develop livelihoods assets

During the emergency phase, the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement spent over 400 million Swiss francs on emergency relief in Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Maldives, Malaysia, Bangladesh and East Africa.

Survivor portraits

See more images by Mikko Vähäniitty,

Survivor portraits