Relocating bodies of 2004 tsunami victims

PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Workers and volunteers working at a mass grave yesterday in Kahju village, Aceh Besar, Indonesia, as part of a project to relocate newly discovered remains of hundreds of victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

The grave was unearthed only recently during the construction of a clinic.

According to the community, hundreds of mass graves which have not been marked dot the landscape because the tsunami victims were buried in haste in the aftermath of the disaster to prevent disease outbreaks.

Nearly 170,000 people died in Indonesia when a 9.1-magnitude earthquake struck Aceh, a predominantly Muslim province in the northern tip of Sumatra island, on Dec 26, 2004, sparking massive waves that also slammed into coastal areas as far away as Somalia.

The disaster killed about 50,000 people in other countries around the Indian Ocean, bringing the total number of deaths to about 220,000. 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2019, with the headline 'Relocating bodies of 2004 tsunami victims'. Print Edition | Subscribe