Maldives mourns the 17th anniversary of the Tsunami tragedy which struck the island nation on December 26th, 2004.
The tragedy which claimed 108 lives and destroyed several islands has been remembered annually for 17 years. The day is marked as the ‘National Unity Day’ as the whole nation wept lives lost due to the Tsunami caused by an earthquake on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
The total fatality of the tragedy is estimated to be more than 230,000 out of which 167,540 lives were lost in Indonesia. The effects of the Tsunami were felt by the majority of the islands in the Maldives and almost 10% of the islands were left with irrecoverable damages. Moreover, around 12,000 people were dislocated during the tragedy, and R. Kandolhudhoo and Th. Vilufushi are now uninhabited islands due to the severe destruction caused by the Tsunami.
Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom declared a national state of emergency after the gigantic waves of the Tsunami reached the Maldives. He further formed National Disaster Management to attend to the situation immediately. The lingering effects of the Tsunami were felt immensely by the Maldives as the country’s major economic stream, Tourism came to a halt.
On this day, Maldives remembers the fallen and the unity shown by the nation during one of the major disasters to strike the island nation.