The great mosque of Meulaboh after the 2004 tsunami.
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Meulaboh (or Moulabouh) was the capital of West Aceh Regency, Indonesia, as of July 8, 2013 is an independent city Kota. Meulaboh is among the hardest hit areas by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. Being just 150 km from the epicenter of the earthquake, Meulaboh was hit by tsunami, leaving the estimated deaths of 40,000 people out of 120,000.
2004 Indian Ocean earthquake event
"The casualty rates in Meulaboh defy imagination," said Aitor Lacomba, Indonesian director of aid group International Rescue Committee. "Tens of thousands need immediate assistance there."
A damaged airstrip was cleared, enabling International Red Cross medical teams from Japan, Spain and Singapore to begin treating survivors. Red Cross engineer Sara Escudero said "There is a strong smell of putrefaction and, whilst body retrieval has commenced, it can be assumed that there are still hundreds, possibly thousands of bodies remaining underneath the debris".
The Red Cross said it would use Meulaboh as an aid staging post for the Sumatran west coast. The government of Singapore deployed two helicopter landing ships there.
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