Ten years after the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami, WFP takes a look at some of the most courageous stories, photos and first-hand accounts of survivors and the impact that WFP’s response had on their lives.
December 26, 2004, Indian Ocean
In the early hours of the 26th of December, 2004, reports began to emerge of a 9.0 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Indonesia and giant waves that had crashed onto shorelines across South and Southeast Asia.
The killer waves slammed into the coastlines of 11 countries. Among them, the most affected were Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Maldives and Somalia. The deadliest tsunami in recorded history killed more than 200,000 people.
WFP Responded Within 24 Hours
By that morning, key staff had gathered at WFP offices in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand to begin planning what would become one of the most complex and wide-reaching emergency operations ever mounted by the agency.
WFP launched an immediate and massive response to the crisis – diverting cargo ships, airlifting tons of food to the region, and using any means necessary to get food to those who desperately needed it.
(A 2004 news release announcing WFP’s food aid operations in Sri Lanka)
10 Years Later
Ten years have passed and we went back to the areas that paid the highest price. Read the stories below to get memories and feelings from those who witnessed the world’s worst recorded natural disaster: