December 26 marked the 10-year anniversary of the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, one of the largest natural disasters on record.
The tsunami killed some 230,000 people across 14 countries, wiping out entire villages in the process. Around 9,000 of those victims were tourists, visiting the resorts of Thailand, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka during the Christmas season.
The before-and-after photos below show the tremendous scope of the damage of the 2004 disaster, alongside images of the same places in 2009. In the five years following the tsunami, aid groups rebuilt more than 140,000 homes, 1,000 government buildings, and thousands of kilometers of road, according to Reuters.
Today, 10 years later, people in the region and around the world are gathering for memorial services and prayers.
Debris is strewn at a hotel near the popular Patong beach in Phuket, Thailand December 29, 2004 after a tsunami slammed the coast (top) and foreign tourists enjoy the weather at the same hotel five years after, December 10, 2009 (bottom).
An Acehnese man walks past a ship washed ashore by the tsunami in Banda Aceh December 28, 2004, and an Acehnese worker sweeping a street in front of the Hotel Medan in the same area, December 5, 2009 (bottom).
Tourists wait to be evacuated from the Phi Phi Islands, southern Thailand, December 27, 2004 after a tsunami swept through this famous tourist resort (top) and the same pier nearly five years after, December 11, 2009 (bottom).
A view of the damage near Baiturrahman mosque December 27, 2004, the day after a tsunami hit the Indonesian city of Banda Aceh, and an Acehnese man collecting grass for his goat in the same area, December 4, 2009 (bottom).
An Acehnese man walks on debris from the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami in the provincial Indonesian capital of Banda Aceh January 4, 2005, and an Acehnese man walking in the same area in Banda Aceh, December 3, 2009 (bottom).
Sumith Lalantha (top, left) who lost his three sisters, and his wife Sriyani, stand January 2, 2005, in the ruins of their house in Kathaluwa which was devastated by the 2004 tsunami, and a family walking past new homes at a development in Kathaluwa, built for families who lost homes in the 2004 tsunami, November 29, 2009 (bottom).
Indonesian soldiers remove the body of a 2004 tsunami victim near a mosque in Banda Aceh, on the northern part of the Indonesian island of Sumatra January 2, 2005 (top), and a view of the same area, December 5, 2009 (bottom).
Tourists are seen outside a hotel as they wait to be evacuated from Phi Phi Island after giant waves swept through the tourist resort December 27,2004 (top) and the same site nearly five years after, December 11, 2009 (bottom).
Foreign tourists carry an injured person along a destroyed beach on Phi Phi island December 26, 2004 (top) and the same site nearly five years after, December 11, 2009 (bottom).
Residents and tourists stand in ankle-deep water in tsunami-hit entertainment district of Patong in Phuket (top) December 26, 2004 and the same street nearly five years after December 10, 2009 (bottom).
A Thai woman collects items from the aftermath of the tsunami disaster in Patong Beach on the Thai resort island of Phuket January 1, 2005 (top) and the same site nearly five years after, December 10, 2009 (bottom).
Rescue workers remove a body of a tsunami victim from the compound of the Grand Mosque in Banda Aceh, December 29, 2004 (top) and an Acehnese worker sweeps the grass in the same area, December 3, 2009 (bottom).
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.