World

Beachside memorials, prayers planned across Asia for 10th anniversary of Indian Ocean tsunami

  • Tourists enjoy a quiet afternoon reading on the beach Thursday, Dec. 25, 2014 in Khao Lak, Thailand, which was not spared from massive destruction from the Asian tsunami 10 years ago. Dec. 26 marks the 10th anniversary of one of the deadliest natural disasters in world history: a tsunami, triggered by a massive earthquake off the Indonesian coast, that left more than 230,000 people dead in 14 countries and caused about $10 billion in damage  (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Tourists enjoy a quiet afternoon reading on the beach Thursday, Dec. 25, 2014 in Khao Lak, Thailand, which was not spared from massive destruction from the Asian tsunami 10 years ago. Dec. 26 marks the 10th anniversary of one of the deadliest natural disasters in world history: a tsunami, triggered by a massive earthquake off the Indonesian coast, that left more than 230,000 people dead in 14 countries and caused about $10 billion in damage (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)  (The Associated Press)

  • A woman offers prayers on a tiled memorial wall displaying names of victims from the Asian tsunami, in Phang Nga, Ban Nam Khem province, Thailand, Friday, Dec. 26, 2014. December 26 marks the 10th anniversary of one of the deadliest natural disasters in world history: a tsunami, triggered by a massive earthquake off the Indonesian coast, that left more than 230,000 people dead in 14 countries and caused about $10 billion in damage. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    A woman offers prayers on a tiled memorial wall displaying names of victims from the Asian tsunami, in Phang Nga, Ban Nam Khem province, Thailand, Friday, Dec. 26, 2014. December 26 marks the 10th anniversary of one of the deadliest natural disasters in world history: a tsunami, triggered by a massive earthquake off the Indonesian coast, that left more than 230,000 people dead in 14 countries and caused about $10 billion in damage. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)  (The Associated Press)

  • Thai military personnel and volunteers prepare for a memorial service to be held the next day in front of a police boat which was beached 10 years ago when the Asian tsunami struck, in Khao Lak, Thailand,  Thursday, Dec. 25, 2014. Dec. 26 marks the 10th anniversary of one of the deadliest natural disasters in world history: a tsunami, triggered by a massive earthquake off the Indonesian coast, that left more than 230,000 people dead in 14 countries and caused about $10 billion in damage. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Thai military personnel and volunteers prepare for a memorial service to be held the next day in front of a police boat which was beached 10 years ago when the Asian tsunami struck, in Khao Lak, Thailand, Thursday, Dec. 25, 2014. Dec. 26 marks the 10th anniversary of one of the deadliest natural disasters in world history: a tsunami, triggered by a massive earthquake off the Indonesian coast, that left more than 230,000 people dead in 14 countries and caused about $10 billion in damage. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)  (The Associated Press)

Beachside memorials and religious services were planned across Asia to mark 10 years since the Indian Ocean tsunami slammed into a dozen nations and killed nearly a quarter million people.

Survivors, government officials, diplomats and family members of victims will attend ceremonies Friday in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and elsewhere as part of the day's solemn commemorations.

On Dec. 26, 2004, the region's most powerful earthquake in 40 years tore open the sea bed off of Indonesia's Sumatran coast, displacing billions of tons of water and sending waves roaring across the Indian Ocean at jetliner speeds as far away as East Africa.

About 230,000 people were killed by the disaster. Many victims were never found or never identified.