PHOTO STORY - After the tsunami

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PHOTO STORY: After the tsunami


© Christian Aid/Tim A. Hetherington

26 December 2014 was 10 years after the Indian Ocean tsunami. It killed 250,000 people in a few hours, and hundreds of thousands of people lost their homes. It was a terrible disaster and the world gave a lot of help – Britain gave £400 million ($630 million) through British charities in the Disaster Emergencies Committee (DEC). Eight months after the tsunami, photographer Tim Hetherington travelled to India and Sri Lanka with Christian Aid to take photos for their one-year anniversary exhibition Every time I see the sea. Tim sadly died in Libya in 2011, but his work is now part of Tsunami: 10 years after the wave, a multimedia production by Christian Aid.

[Photo, top] Kajendhri, 28, in front of her home in Palhayar, India. ‘I thought I was going to die, but I wanted to get away so I could see my children again. When I woke up I was almost naked. I could see water everywhere and there was silence.’


Christian Aid/Tim A. Hetherington

Nearly 2,000 people died when this train couldn’t move in the water near Peraliya, Sri Lanka. Relatives of people who died later came to the destroyed train to remember their loved ones.


Christian Aid/Tim A. Hetherington

This incomplete road near Nagipattinam, southern India saved thousands of lives. ‘I ran to the new road and climbed up. Hundreds of people were trying to climb. Women could not climb in their saris, and they kept falling,’ said 34-year-old Selvamai.


Christian Aid/Tim A. Hetherington

Almost 35,000 fisherpeople died and many thousands of fishing boats were destroyed. They couldn't go fishing for months. Organizations like Christian Aid gave them fishing boats to help them start work again.


Christian Aid/Tim A. Hetherington

More than a million people lost their homes, important documents and many other things. NGOs built thousands of new houses but, because of problems with land and politics, some people had to live in simple camps for months, or even years.


Christian Aid/Tim A. Hetherington

In Sri Lanka almost 4,500 children lost one or both of their parents to the tsunami. Tim photographed some of them as part of an art and drama workshop. The workshop was trying to help children accept losing their parents.


Christian Aid/Tim A. Hetherington

In the weeks after the tsunami many people were afraid to go to the beach. A year later people started to stop being afraid. Here, Muslim schoolgirls play on the beach in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

In memory of Tim Hetherington and the people killed by the tsunami. All photos copyright Christian Aid/Tim A Hetherington.

See the exhibition here: Tsunami: 10 years after the wave

NOW READ THE ORIGINAL: (This article has been simplified so the words, text structure and quotes may have been changed).