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Boxing Day Tsunami Scenes Of Devastation Look Very Different 10 Years Later

09/12/2014 14:49 GMT | Updated 26/12/2014 09:59 GMT

A decade ago on Boxing Day morning, as families and tourists started to begin their day just before 8.00am, a 9.1-magnitude earthquake struck 100 miles off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, triggering the most powerful tsunami since records began.

The waves claimed the lives of more than a quarter of a million people, with many foreign tourists among the dead. More than 1.6 million locals were displaced, their homes, businesses and livelihoods decimated.

In the province of Aceh, 500 miles of coastline were ruptured, with waves up to 100ft high engulfing entire villages, the only warning a deafening crash. More than 170,000 people were killed in that province alone.

Ten years on, photographers have returned to Banda Aceh, Phi Phi Island and Patong where the devastating images splashed across the newspapers came from.

Aceh's reconstruction effort was often criticised in the first 12 months, as billions of pounds in aid poured into the country. The rebuilding is now widely regarded as highly successful and a model for other devastated regions to follow, like the Philippines.

Around 130,000 houses were built in less than three years, with roads, schools and airports rebuilt or repaired, making it the biggest construction project in the developing world.

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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 and almost 10 years later the town has been rebuilt.

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Bodies cover the area, waiting, to be transported by boat to Phuket and Krabi on December 28, 2004 in Phi Phi Village and now the area is still under construction hoping to attract tourists in the future.

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An aerial shot taken from a US Navy Seahawk helicopter on January 8th 2005 from carrier USS Abraham Lincoln shows devastation caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami to the west of Aceh and taken an image on 11th December 2014 showing the same area.

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A bank automated teller machine rests submerged in the pool of the Holiday Inn hotel near wrecked cars December 27, 2004 along Patong Beach and now with tourist enjoying the facilities at the refurbish hotel.

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People walks through the streets of Tsunami-damaged Phi Phi Village on January 25, 2005 almost one month after the devastating Tsunami struck and life is virtually back to normally with no visible sign of the devastation almost 10 years earlier.

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A helicopter lands with emergency supplies December 28, 2004 in Phi Phi Village, Ton Sai Bay, Thailand and construction is still underway in some parts of the island as Thailand nears the 10th anniversary of the tragedy.

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A Thai rescue worker looks out at the destruction of hotels and shops December 28, 2004 on Phi Phi Village on Ton Sai Bay, Thailand with construction continuing prior to the ten year anniversary of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami.

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Thai rescue workers cover the body of a baby on the beach December 28, 2004 on Phi Phi Village on Ton Sai Bay, Thailand and today boats are parked at the shore and life appears to be back to normality.

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On December 29, 2004 residents can be seen walking over huge piles of debris covering the street of Banda Aceh, on Indonesia's Sumatra island where surrounding houses and buildings were heavily damaged and coastal villages wiped out in the aftermath of the massive tsunami triggered by an earthquake. The same location is photographed in 2014 on the right.

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Debris scattered across the grounds of Banda Aceh's Baiturrahaman mosque on Indonesia's Sumatra island on December 28, 2004, and the same location photographed on November 27, 2014.

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On January 2, 2005 a damaged mosque can be seen in Teunom, located in Aceh Jaya district, and the same location photographed on November 29, 2014 showing the renovated mosque surrounded by new houses and rebuilt community.

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A photo taken on December 27, 2004 of heavy debris spread across the grounds of Banda Aceh's Baiturrahaman mosque in Aceh province, located on Indonesia's Sumatra island, and the same location photographed on November 27, 2014 showing the renovated grounds

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A merged image from Banda Aceh showing a fishing boat photographed in 2004 stranded in the street next a commercial building photographed at the same location on November 27, 2014

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On January 23, 2005 residents were using an improvised raft to cross a river as an Indonesian soldier guards the area in Lhoknga in Aceh province (top), and the same location photographed on November 29 (above).

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A comparison image showing the impassable main coastal road covered with debris in Aceh Besar district in 2004 and the same location photographed this year.

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The devastated district of Banda Aceh in Aceh province located on Indonesia's Sumatra island and the same location photographed on December 1, 2014 showing new houses and rebuilt community.

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Taken on January 15, 2005, this merged image shows houses surrounding the mosque in Meulaboh destroyed on Indonesia's Sumatra island, and the same mosque photographed on November 30, 2014.

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On January 16, 2005 a partly damaged mosque in the Lampuuk coastal district of Banda Aceh can be seen, with the same location photographed with a wide angle lens on December 1, 2014.

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This photo taken on January 2, 2005 shows a damaged mosque in Teunom, located in the Aceh Jaya district, and the same location photographed with a wide angle lens on December 1, 2014.

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A photo taken on December 30, 2004 of workers burning debris as they clean up downtown Banda Aceh on Indonesia's Sumatra island, and the same location photographed on December 6, 2014.

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