Grim reminder in a region where scars are yet to heal

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The Independent Online

Three months have passed and many billions have been pledged in aid. But for a vast swath of southern Asia, the scars of the Boxing Day tsunami have far from healed.

Three months have passed and many billions have been pledged in aid. But for a vast swath of southern Asia, the scars of the Boxing Day tsunami have far from healed.

From Indonesia and Sri Lanka to Thailand and the Indian Andaman Islands, millions still reel from the devastation caused on 26 December last year.

Makeshift refugee camps remain filled with the homeless, families are penniless and without prospects having lost their livelihood, and at the same time, the death toll of the disaster continues to climb, with latest estimates at about 300,000.

Panic has regularly swept coastal areas, hampering efforts to rebuild homes, schools and livelihoods, following numerous false alarms of tsunamis triggered by smaller aftershocks beneath the sea.

Reports are also emerging of areas that have not been receiving adequate aid, despite the huge global donations, as well as disputes over how it should be implemented.

Shortly after 8am local time on 26 December, an earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale was recorded under the sea off the west coast of northern Sumatra in Indonesia. The quake and the resulting tsunami spared little in its wake. Death and destruction were huge, among the region's inhabitants and tourists.

Last night's earthquake and tsunami warning will not help reassure millions still struggling to overcome the trauma that hit their lives three months ago.

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