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Tearful mourners lit candles on Friday to remember the 220,000 people who died a decade ago when tsunami waves devastated coastal areas along the Indian Ocean, in one of the worst natural disasters in human history. On December 26, 2004 a 9.3-magnitude earthquake off Indonesia's western tip generated a series of massive waves that pummelled the coastline of 14 countries as far apart as Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Somalia. Among the victims were thousands of foreign tourists enjoying Christmas on the region's sun-kissed beaches, carrying the tragedy of an unprecedented natural disaster into homes around the globe. In southern Thailand, where half of the 5,400 dead were holidaymakers, people recounted stories of horror and miraculous survival as the churning waters, laden with the debris of eviscerated bungalows, cars and boats, swept in without warning, obliterating resorts and villages.