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A Thai policeman moves debris in streets next to knocked-over telephone booths where vehicles and various objects were swept away with the tidal waves that hit Patong Beach on Phuket Island, Thailand. On December 26, 2004, a major earthquake generated tsunamis that ravaged coastlines from Southeast Asia to Africa. Approximately 275,000 people were killed and tens of thousands were left homeless, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in modern history. .