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Page last updated at 13:23 GMT, Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Tsunami: 5 Years On

Lumpuuk's beach police believe the tsunami was 'a punishment' for breaking Islamic law

The Boxing Day tsunami of 2004 was just the beginning, for those who survived.

A massive earthquake caused a tidal wave that killed a quarter of a million people, but many millions more found their lives changed forever.

This World has returned to two communities it filmed five years ago, to tell the powerful story of how the survivors have tried to rebuild their lives.

Legal battle

In Thailand Daeng Kongwatmai lost six members of her family including her daughter when the tsunami wiped away her entire village.

Then, to add to her grief, she was faced with an exhausting and challenging legal battle.

Property developers wanted to build a tourist development on the site of her former village.

The film charts Daeng's battle with them and also the course of her bereavement as she struggles to accept the loss of her daughter.


Also in Thailand was Trevor Fisher, a former nurse, who lives in the popular holiday island of Phuket.

Five years ago he led the volunteers at the hospital comforting distressed holidaymakers as they searched for lost and missing relatives.

It was harrowing work and in the years since he has struggled to come to terms with what he saw at the time and to rebuild his own life in Thailand.

In Indonesia, the tiny community of Lampuuk was almost totally destroyed by the tsunami. The only building that remained was the mosque.

Since then, the village has been rebuilt, including over 700 new houses paid for by the Turkish Red Cross.

90% of the women of Lampuuk were killed in the tsunami. It has left the remaining men struggling to find wives and many are leaving.

In addition, most have not been able to find permanent employment.

The film catches up with Aki Ilyas, who used to work on the beach before the tsunami but has been forced to leave to find work abroad.

Tsunami: 5 Years On will be broadcast on Wednesday, 27 January, at 2100 GMT on BBC Two.

Or catch-up afterwards on BBC iPlayer (UK only).

Producer/Director: Jonathan Brunert.

Executive Producer: Sam Bagnall.

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