Bangkok (Reuters): Unfortunately, at least 400 fatalities of Asia's 2004 tsunami that killed 226,000 people remain unidentified in Thailand 12 years on, police said on Monday.
Dec. 26 earthquake with a 9.15 magnitude triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean in one of the biggest natural disasters in history.
India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia were among the worst hit countries. Some 5,395 people were killed in Thailand, among them about 2,000 foreign tourists.
Recently deputy superintendent of Takua Pa district police Anand Boonkerkaew, in Phang Nga province told Reuters, "Since the 2004 tsunami, authorities have contacted between 4,000 to 5,000 relatives to come and receive bodies. There are about 400 bodies that we cannot identify".
Thailand's tourist high season is in full swing and in much of the area affected by the tsunami, it is business as usual. New hotels have replaced those flattened by the wall of water.
Thailand expects a record 32.4 million foreign tourists this year.
Critics have said Thailand's tsunami warning system remains inadequate, partly because it isn't maintained properly. The government has said it is in good order.