by Caroline de Bertodano
The Tsunami hit the East Coast of Sri Lanka, December 26th 2004, caused by the Indian Ocean Earthquake, magnitude 9.2.
I arrived in Sri Lanka 6 days later.
One of the East coast villages Kulmani, Ampara District was destroyed. Families lost everything, people stepped through the remains of their devasted lives in shock. Travelling through Sri Lanka down the coast we passed countless displaced people, A train hit by the full force of the wave, 1,500 people died and is the largest single train disaster in recorded history.
Within a week of the Tsunami hitting Sri Lanka. The Sahabdeen Foundation opened a non demoninational orphanage, Pahamune House at Naramula, Kurunegala District, NW Sri Lanka. To rescue as many displaced children as they could. The worked tirelessly with communities from the East & other hit areas. They saved and rehabilitated many children with a strong emphasis on education & opportunity. I followed the children’s progress for two years and still do. Now in 2018, all children have been returned to rebuilt lives & Pahamune House continues to care for orphaned, abused & children in poverty.
The Sri Lankan authorities reported 38,000 confirmed deaths & over 28,000 injured by January 3rd . The waves were up to 10 metres high, travelled up to 2,000 metres inland. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history.