Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

Children of the Wave; Daniel Murray Recalls the Lingering Tragedy of the 2004 Asian Tsunami

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

Children of the Wave; Daniel Murray Recalls the Lingering Tragedy of the 2004 Asian Tsunami

Article excerpt

Byline: DANIEL MURRAY

MANY people remember where they were when they heard the news of the Asian tsunami on Boxing Day, 2004.

It was one of the single most devastating events in the world's history, killing close to 350,000 people as the massive walls of water consumed the land, destroying almost everything in their path.

The pictures from across Asia shocked us all. Many people had, at some time, joined the millions of tourists on the calm and tranquil beaches of Phuket, Khao Lak and Phi Phi Island.

We were saddened for the thousands of tourists who never returned from their holiday paradise.

We were shocked by images of the destruction to Banda Aceh, the rivers of debris mercilessly carving through city streets, sweeping up cars and tearing down buildings.

Walls covered in images and notes left by desperate loved ones hoping to find their missing, soon made way for the traumatic images of the bodies found; hope faded to despair.

These images moved us to reach into our pockets and help in an unprecedented way. An estimated $7billion was raised around the world.

Australia sent experts in disaster recovery and forensics, along with millions of dollars in aid to help our closest neighbours recover from the indescribable tragedy.

As the five-year anniversary of the Boxing Day tsunami approaches, people often ask why we are still raising money to support the children of the Baan Tharn Namchai Orphanage in Thailand's south west.

It is a question that neither offends nor surprises us at Hands Across The Water.

Hands was set up as a direct result of Peter Baines personally witnessing the devastating effects of the Boxing Day tsunami in the south-western area of Khao Lak in southern Thailand.

While working as part of the response team, Peter was deeply touched by the number of children left orphaned by the disaster and was inspired to set up an organisation that could make a significant difference to the lives of these children. …

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