President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, on Wednesday, during his official visit to Dhuvaafaru, Raa Atoll, recounted his experience by stating that the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami was a trial, and that the strong faith of the people was the reason behind succeeding the test.
During the ceremony, the President pledged to transfer the registries of temporary housings units to the residents of the Islands and to kickstart the reclamation project without delay, to solve the housing crisis in the island.
Furthermore, the President declared his intention to establish a laboratory and other medical facilities in the health centre in Dhuvaafaru. Additionally, the new administration has decided to develop a National disaster management authority and a national disaster management council.
Recounting his exerience during the tsunami, President Solih revealed that he was in his hometown of Hinnavaru, Lhaviyani Atoll, when the tsunami struck on December 26, 2004. The president witnessed the flooding first hand, adding that the bitter experience devastated families, homes, belongings and caused Maldives to "sink" in an economical and social aspect.
Following the tsunami, five islands became uninhabited, 82 people died and 26 people went missing. The wave caused wide-ranging damages to 190 of the then 199 inhabited islands. Over 15,000 people were displaced and were placed in temporary shelter.
The President stated that the fear in people's hearts were calmed due to their trust in the generosity of God. Additionally, the President attributed patience and supplications to God for overcoming the crisis.
President Solih declared that the unity shown within Maldivians during the incident was recognized as an example by International communities and that these experiences can never be erased from the memories.
"When your own life was at risk, we prioritized saving other souls", stated the President, while noting the strenuous relief operations conducted by both Police and Military.