Tears and fears 10 years after
Tears continue to fall for the dead amid fears that still haunt survivors 10 years after the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami on Dec 26, 2004.
Authorities and relatives of the victims, as well as survivors, held religious and remembrance ceremonies in many southern provinces on the Andaman Sea to mark the 10th anniversary of the tsunami.
In Phuket, the activities took place at the Mai Khao cemetery in Mai Khao sub-district of Thalang district.
A minute's silence was observed, followed by Buddhist, Christian and Islamic ceremonies. Participants laid flowers at the memorial Tsunami Wall where the flags of the 45 nations whose citizens fell victims of the tidal waves on that day were raised.
The ceremonies there were simple and many relatives of dead victims still cried. About 500 bodies were recovered at the Mai Khao cemetery 10 years ago.
In Phangnga, Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda and governors of southern provinces attended ceremonies at the Ban Nam Khem Tsunami Memorial Park in Takua Pa district.
Together with relatives of the victims, they remembered the dead who included Khun Poom Jensen, the son of Princess Ubolratana, who passed away in Khao Lak area of Takua Pa.
In Krabi province, ceremonies were held at the Loh Dalum Bay in the Phi Phi islands. Divers placed a metal garland at an undersea tsunami memorial there.
In Trang province, locals in Kan Tang, Sikao, Hat Samran and Palian coastal districts are still haunted by the tsunami.
Like others living on Hat Yao beach in Kantang, Mat Wangsen, 76, said he remembered clearly what happened on the tsunami day and local people were now always ready to rush to a nearby mountain at the slightest signs such a disaster could occur again.
Coastal fishermen in Sikao said they were still afraid and kept watching for any unusual low sea levels and kept their motor boats well maintained to ensure a successful escape.
The 2004 tsunami killed about 5,400 people in Thailand. The total death toll was about 230,000 as the waves hit 14 countries around the Indian Ocean rim.