It has been over 5 years since the Tsunami devastated the coast of Sri Lanka. Over 50,000 people were killed and thousands more injured and displaced.
Sri Lanka Tsunami
While new disasters and tragedies have occurred in the world and people have moved on to other issues. The Tsunami of December 26, 2004 is still fresh in the people of Sri Lanka's minds. It is impossible to find anyone that was not directly affected by the events of that day.
The wounds are slowly disappearing as businesses are being rebuilt, roads are cleared and the landscape has recovered, but the scars still remain and there are still signs of the destruction that the mighty ocean left behind.
Dave has captured the southern coast of Sri Lanka today in photos. Its i a reminder of the great suffering that the people faced after the event but also the resilience of the human spirit and how a nation has slowly recovered over time.
Destruction From the Tsunami
As we ride our bikes along the coast the evidence is still obvious of the destruction that the Tsunami brought to the residents of SriLanka. It may have been 5 years ago but the reminders still remain, not only in the hearts and minds of the people, but also in the water damaged buildings.
Inland the remnants of boats still dot the front yards of many houses.
Tsunami Photo Museum
The Tsunami Photo Museum just outside of Hikkaduwa serves as a reminder of the devastation that happened here during the Tsunami of 2004.
Inside you will find photo's that chronicle the events of that day. They give you a sense of what people were going through as well as the actual damage that was done.
On two walls hang the artwork and drawings done by children. These images will be burned into the memories of young and old alike.
To this day people are still missing. Maybe we will never know the true death toll in Sri Lanka from the Tsunami.
On that day many sought out safety in the train cars. They turned out not to be safe at all. At these very tracks 1200-1500 people died as the waves swept into the train. Unable to escape they perished in the very place they thought was safe.
On the roadside there is a monument erected to remember the over 50,000 people who died on December 26, 2004.
The people and businesses of Sri Lanka are slowly rebuilding their lives. Construction is moving along at a painstakingly slow pace as hotels and the small businessman try to recover their losses and bring tourism back to Sri Lanka.
As we walk along the coast you can signs of hope. Sri Lankans are once again enjoying the sea and everything it has to offer. But they do so cautiously. As anyone will tell you, they will never forget the day the sea got angry and took so many loved ones from them.
Neither should we.