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With the cruellest of timings, the Tsunami of 2004 struck when the world was full of hope for a New Year. Plans were being made for the future, loved ones and families were warm in each other's company, and friends were revelling in the exotic atmosphere of Southeast Asia. Nothing should have marred the spirit of Christmas. Nothing should have blighted paradise.But then the wave came... On Boxing Day, as a new morning dawned for those in Southeast Asia, and as those across the globe enjoyed the feelgood factor of that special time of year.The seabed cracked, and the forces of earth and sea killed tens of thousands and destroyed the lives of millions in their angry wake. No-one will forget the images of the dead or the dying and the devastation. For many, all those thoughts for the future were now gone -- crushed in moments, without warning. The 2004 Tsunami was the deadliest in recorded history. The earthquake that preceded it was the fourth worst since 1900. It was, many in the region believed, the work of the devil when God had turned his back for a moment. We must never forget the events of December 2004. We must never forget the aftermath and its far-reaching consequences. Above all, we must never forget how human strength and compassion shines through when there is the greatest need. For, in an unprecedented response, the world became a powerful ally to relieve suffering and restore hope. People gave in all ways, through their hearts, through their prayers and through their presence in the stricken areas. Throughout the world, everyone from the youngest child to mightiest corporations made donations to the Tsunami Disaster Fund. In this book, we hope to provide amemorable record of The Tsunami as a humbling reminder to us all that ours is a very fragile world. It is dedicated to all those whose lives were touched by the disaster.
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