The beach suddenly turns out. Fish gasp ashore. There is an unusual calm, one that local residents recognize and do not trust. It is the morning of December 26, 2004, the South East Asiatico was hit by a very strong earthquake: 9.3 on the Richter scale, the strongest in the last 40 years. It happened offshore, off the northwest coast of Indonesia. That power is about to turn into an even worse hell: the tsunami.
Two hundred thirty thousand victims, of which forty Italians, thousands of missing, beaches, lives, entire villages completely destroyed and taken away, into thin air. And the waves, never seen so high, some up to fourteen meters. The countries most affected were Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Burma, Bangladesh and the Maldives. THE natural paradises chosen by thousands of tourists for the Christmas holidays. Whole resorts were razed to the ground, thousands of tourists of all nationalities lost a loved one, a child, a parent. Those who survived still live today, 17 years later, with the indelible memory of the living hell. Of what is considered the most serious natural disaster of the modern era.
For days, images were broadcast of vacationers walking through the rubble, their faces destroyed by fear and pain. Next to them the residents who had lost everything, in a few seconds. Then the photos hung everywhere of the dispersi: of all ages and nationalities. In addition to the victims, there were at least 1.5 million displaced people in Sri Lanka, more than 100,000 in India, nearly 30,000 in Thailand and hundreds of thousands more in Indonesia.
Other stories of Vanity Fair that may interest you:
-Fukushima 10 years later, how is the world around the nuclear power plant
– Doctors Without Borders: 50 years of humanity. The photos
I am Derek Black, an author of World Stock Market. I have a degree in creative writing and journalism from the University of Central Florida. I have a passion for writing and informing the public. I strive to be accurate and fair in my reporting, and to provide a voice for those who may not otherwise be heard.