IN PHOTOS: When the tsunami devastated Aceh
IN PHOTOS: When the tsunami devastated Aceh


Ten years on, we look back at the impact of one of the deadliest disasters in recorded history on the hardest-hit province – Aceh

JAKARTA, Indonesia – It was a quiet Sunday morning. It was also the day after Christmas but that didn’t matter because Aceh is predominantly Muslim.

If you ask most Acehnese what that day was like 10 years ago, before the disaster that changed their lives, they’ll remember it was a quiet Sunday morning.   

First, the ground shook violently for a few minutes. Rappler contributor Nurdin Hasan says he went back into the house after that, thinking it was over. 

About 15 to 20 minutes later, he heard a loud rumbling, something that sounded like a plane taking off. 

They didn’t know at the time it was the sound of an angry sea rushing inland. They didn’t know ferocious waves of up to 30 meters high were coming. 

But they remember the panic, the chaos, and the devastation that lay in its wake. 

When the waters receded, Aceh was unrecognizable. When they finished counting, they estimated they lost almost 170,000 relatives, neighbors, and friends.  

Photos below are from AFP and EPA. 

The Baiturrahim mosque standing amid the destructio in Meulaboh, Aceh.
A man finds photos of his relatives among the ruins of his destroyed village.
Residents of Banda Aceh carrying the body of a relative, a day after the tsunami hit.
Survivors looking for loved ones among the bodies in Banda Aceh.
Survivors walk through the devastation in the capital Banda Aceh.
The devastation around the Baiturrahman grand mosque in the capital Banda Aceh.
A cameraman stands in the middle of a destroyed in Banda Aceh.
Elephants help the in the task of clearing debris.

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.