Today we commemorate the 17th anniversary of the fatal 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami (titled the “Boxing Day Tsunami” by the scientific community) that wreaked havoc and horrified the entire world, making thousands of people lose their lives.
The 26th of December 2004 will be remembered by all Sri Lankans as the ‘Boxing Day Tsunami,’ which was triggered by a series of earthquakes and severely affected the island’s coastline region.
The Sumatra-Andaman 9.1 Richter earthquake near Sumatra islands generated a series of large tsunamis that impacted the neighboring nations such as Sri Lanka, India, and Indonesia, as well as the Maldives and Thailand.
According to Western estimates, the 2004 Tsunami killed an estimated 227,000 people on the Indian Ocean’s surrounding beaches, making it the most hazardous natural disaster of the twenty-first century.
The devastation was unimaginable because many Sri Lankans had never witnessed a natural disaster of this magnitude, with thousands of people uprooted and killed in such a short period.
In 2005, a Cabinet Memorandum named “National Safety Day” was issued, marking December 26th as a day to remember those who died in the 2004 tsunami.
Even after 17 years, the 2004 Tsunami’s devastation is still remembered.