PORT BLAIR, India
In commemoration of the eighth anniversary of the Asian tsunami, Wednesday was a day of prayer and mourning across the Andaman Nicobar Islands – located at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea – and south India’s coastal Tamil Nadu state, two areas that suffered thousands of casualties on that fateful day.
From her half-built house, Ari Haryani takes a few steps to reach a freshly cemented path that snakes through the narrow, dusty walkways of this resettlement village. The path offers the 36-year-old a route to safety in case the nearby Mount Merapi, Indonesia’s most active volcano, erupts.
The debris of the devastated Arahama elementary school yielded two enduring lessons for its principal, Takao Kawamura, in the months after the massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan’s north-east coastland on Mar. 11, 2011.