People place flowers on a wave-shaped tsunami monument for victims of the 2004 tsunami in Ban Nam Khem

Mourners have gathered in Indonesia’s Aceh province for a memorial to mark 10 years since the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

Around 230,000 people died after a 9.3-magnitude earthquake off Indonesia’s western coast triggered a series of huge waves in the Indian Ocean.

The rising waters caused devastation across the region, striking countries as far apart as Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Somalia.

The wave swept the whole of the Indian Ocean’s shoreline, also hitting the coasts of India – especially the Andaman and Nicobar islands – Myanmar, Malaysia, the Maldives and Bangladesh.

Around six hours after the start of the disaster the coasts of east Africa – Somalia, Tanzania, Kenya – were struck by the wave.

The tsunami caused widespread destruction to many coastal communities. Thousands of foreign holiday-makers were also killed.

 The vast majority of Indonesia’s 170,000 victims perished in Aceh province, among them tens of thousands of children.

 Some 7,000 mourners gathered on Christmas Day in Banda Aceh for the first of several memorials.

 Aceh governor Zaini Abdullah led the event at the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque.

 He thanked Indonesians and the international community for their support in the aftermath of the tsunami.

 “The tsunami had caused deep sorrow to Aceh residents from having lost their loved ones,” he said.

 “Sympathy from Indonesians and the international community has helped (Aceh) to recover.”

 In a statement released to mark a decade since the tsunami, Prime Minister David Cameron praised the “real resilience” of those who have rebuilt their lives.

 He said the UK Government had provided almost £300m to support the reconstruction of affected areas.

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