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On this day, ten years ago, a magnitude 9.1 earthquake struck beneath the Indian Ocean near Indonesia, generating a massive tsunami that claimed more than 230,000 lives in fourteen different countries, one of the deadliest natural disasters ever recorded. Today, many of the communities have recovered, though painful memories and some ruined structures remain in place. Across Asia today, memorials were held in remembrance of the thousands of victims. Amid the commemorations, continued warnings from earthquake experts that early-warning systems need even more development and funding in the region. Gathered here are images of the 2004 event, a series of then-and-now comparison images, and photos from today's memorials.
Seawater splashes in the air as the the first tsunami waves hit Ao Nang, Krabi Province, Thailand, on December 26, 2004.
Foreign tourists far out on the sand after the water receded react as the first of six tsunami waves started to roll towards Hat Rai Lay Beach.
People flee as a tsunami wave comes crashing ashore at Koh Raya.
Waves wash through houses at Maddampegama, about 60 kilometers (38 miles) south of Colombo, Sri Lanka, on December 26, 2004.
Tourists watch as tsunami waves hit the shore from inside the Casuarina Beach Hotel resort in Penang, northwestern Malaysia around on December 26, 2004.
Waves crash through houses at Maddampegama, Sri Lanka.
A natural color satellite image shows the coastline of Kalutara, Sri Lanka on December 26, 2004 at 10:20 a.m. local time, slightly less than four hours after the 6:28 a.m. (local Sri Lanka time) earthquake and shortly after the moment of tsunami impact.
A general view of the scene at Marina beach in Madras, India, on December 26, 2004, after tsunami waves hit the region.
An aerial view of Marina beach.
This photo of Phuket, Thailand was taken moments after the Indian Ocean Tsunami ravaged Southern Asia on December 26.
An Indian woman mourns the death of her relative in Cuddalore, some 180 km (112 mi) south of the southern Indian city of Madras, on December 28.
(1 of 2) A file photo taken on January 5, 2005 of the devastated district of Banda Aceh in Aceh province located on Indonesia's Sumatra island in the aftermath of the massive December 26, 2004 tsunami.
(2 of 2) The same location as above, photographed on December 1, 2014, showing new houses and rebuilt community.
(1 of 2) A file photo taken on January 9, 2005 of the impassable main coastal road covered with debris in Aceh Besar district, in Aceh province on Indonesia's Sumatra island where surrounding houses and buildings were heavily damaged and coastal villages wiped out in the aftermath.
(2 of 2) The same location as above, photographed on November 29, 2014, showing the new highway.
(1 of 2) Indonesian military personnel unload corpses from a truck on January 9, 2005 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Estimates of the death toll in Indonesia top 150,000.
(2 of 2) In the same location as above, a man walks near the mass grave prior to the ten year anniversary of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami on December 11, 2014 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.
(1 of 2) A file photo taken with a telephoto lens on January 16, 2005 of a partly damaged mosque in the Lampuuk coastal district of Banda Aceh where surrounding houses were wiped out.
(2 of 2) Tthe same location as above, photographed with a wide angle lens on December 1, 2014, showing the renovated mosque surrounded by new houses and rebuilt community.
(1 of 2) An aerial shot taken from a US Navy helicopter from carrier USS Abraham Lincoln shows devastation caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami to the west of Aceh on January 8, 2005 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.
(2 of 2) A view of the same area of Lampuuk, on December 11, 2014.
(1 of 2) Acehnese walk amid dead bodies and debris thrown around by a Tsunami that hit the Indonesian City of Banda Aceh on December 28, 2004.
(2 of 2) At the same location as above, people drive along Panglima Polim street prior to the ten year anniversary.
(1 of 2) All over Ton Sai Bay, the heart of Koh Phi Phi shops, restaurants and bungalows were totally wiped out following a Tsunami December 28, 2004 on Phi Phi Island, Thailand.
(2 of 2) A decade later, on December 12, 2014 the same location, showing a view of the beach prior to the ten year anniversary of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami in Phi Phi Village, Ton Sai Bay, Thailand.
Ruins on the dome of a mosque that was hit by the tsunami, seen on December 14, 2014 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.
Acehnese women cry as they pray at a mass grave to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the tsunami on December 26, 2014 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.
Ruins of a bridge that was hit by the tsunami, seen on December 14, 2014 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.
Visitors take pictures of the glowing names of tsunami victims at Aceh Tsunami Museum in Banda Aceh on December 26, 2014.
People light candles at a ceremony for the victims of 2004 tsunami in Ban Nam Khem, on December 26, 2014.
Hundreds of lanterns which symbolize the spirits of victims are released into the sky during a commemoration service to mark the 10th anniversary in Ban Nam Khem, Thailand.