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BANGKOK, December 25. /TASS/. Thai Island Phuket pays tribute Friday to the victims of a disastrous tsunami which hit this South East Asian sea resort exactly ten years ago. Since early morning their relatives and loved ones have been coming to a memorial made in the form of wall. The flags of countries citizens of which died in the natural disaster on Phuket are flying on the upper part of the memorial.
Thai authorities said that the death toll of the tsunami had reached 5,395, another 2,932 are still reported missing. More than two thousand foreign tourists, including Russians, were among them. As many as 767 Russian citizens were holidaymaking on the island, when the killing tsunami was destroying hotels, houses and shops on its way. Ten Russians died or went missing.
Buddhist monks will chant their prayers at the mourning ceremony at the memorial wall, religious rites in Muslim and Christian traditions will be also held. Then several hundred people will light up memorial candles along the coast.
Prime Minister of the kingdom Prayut Chan-ocha will participate in another remembrance ceremony on Phuket in the evening. Russian Ambassador in Thailand Kirill Barsky will also attend the event.
An underwater earthquake has occurred in the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004. Its epicentre nested northwest of Indonesian island Sumatra with a magnitude from 9.1 to 9.3 points, according to different estimates. A tsunami triggered by the tremors became the most devastating natural disaster in modern history of the humankind, hitting the territory of 18 countries. The exact death toll in South and South East Asia will hardly be found in the future. More than 230 thousand were reported victims in the tsunami. Material damages totalled around $11 billion, 400 thousand houses were wiped out, two million turned homeless in no time.