The victims are remembered every year on 26 December in the affected countries. Larger memorial events are being held this year to mark the tenth anniversary of the disaster. The Swiss embassies in Bangkok, New Delhi, Colombo and Jakarta will be represented at a number of memorial events. The Swiss ambassador to Thailand, Christine Schraner Burgener, for example, will take part in a German-speaking memorial event on 26 December 2014 in Khao Lak in Phang-nga province, organised by Emergency-Pastoral-Care in Germany, at which the German and Austrian representations will also be present. In Thailand, 110 Swiss citizens lost their lives in the tsunami. In Banda Aceh in northern Sumatra (Indonesia), the victims of the tsunami will be remembered at different events, including at an official memorial ceremony on 26 December 2014 with an exhibition on the theme of protection against disasters and reconstruction.
On 26 December 2004, an earthquake measuring 9.3 on the Richter scale caused a devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean. The tidal wave struck 13 countries, claiming the lives of more than 225,000 people, causing massive destruction and rendering millions homeless. Emergency rescue teams, including from Swiss Humanitarian Aid, were deployed immediately after the tsunami struck, in particular to Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Thailand. Switzerland's emergency aid primarily consisted of building emergency shelters, provisional drinking water supply facilities and providing medical aid. These short-term measures were supplemented by several long-term reconstruction projects from which the affected population continue to benefit today. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) disbursed a total of CHF 35 million for emergency aid measures and reconstruction programmes in various states. The tsunami also prompted enormous public solidarity, with private and public donors in Switzerland collecting some CHF 300 million. The last of the SDC's emergency aid projects were completed at the end of 2007.
Tsunami in South Asia
Video on Sri Lanka – Ten years after the tsunami (de)
Fact sheet: Swiss aid after the tsunami of 26 December 2004
Fact sheet: Switzerland’s commitment in Sri Lanka following the tsunami
Fact sheet: Switzerland’s commitment in Indonesia following the tsunami
Fact sheet: Switzerland’s commitment in Thailand following the tsunami
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