The Nation



Phuket TAO honours tsunami victims

To mark the ninth anniversary of the 2004 South Asian tsunami, which devastated six of Thailand's Andaman provinces, the Tambon Mai Khao Administration Organisation in Phuket hosted a religious ceremony yesterday morning in remembrance of |the more than 800 local people and tourists who died in the disaster.

Some 50 local officials, the US Consulate-General in Phuket and relatives of those who died or went missing attended the ceremony including Buddhist, Islamic and Christian rites at the tsunami wall.

Attendants also laid wreaths at the wall, which was painted white and featured the names and flags of the 45 countries whose nationals were killed in the 2004 tsunami.

In the evening an event called "Light Up Phuket" was held at Loma Park on Patong Beach for people to lay wreaths and light candles for those they had lost.

A number of activities were also held, including demonstrations on how to protect oneself from such future disasters, the importance of early-warning systems, and a painting exhibition by local students called "Nine Years after the Tsunami".

Meanwhile in Ranong province - where 151 people died on December 26, 2004 - only a few people turned up to mark the anniversary of the disaster and lay wreaths.

Unlike in previous years, no official ceremony was organised at the monument this year by local authorities.

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