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Boxing Day Tsunami: Ten Years On

hannah tugwell

6:03am 24th December 2014

A Truro mum has paid tribute to her daughter, ten years after she died in one of the world's worst natural disasters.

Wendy Perry lost Hannah in the Boxing Day tsunami - when she was on holiday in Thailand with her new husband.

Almost a quarter of a million were killed across the region when the powerful wave ripped through resorts and homes.

Wendy told Pirate FM: "It was a normal, quiet, family Christmas and then, suddently, you were catapulted into what I call a parallel universe.

"Tragedies are things that happen to other people, not to yourself. It was just a phone call from my son-in-law's mother.

"The door was forced open by the force of the window and the room filled. They were up, right near the ceiling, doggy-paddling.

"He said that they looked at each other and knew they were going to die.

"They didn't speak - and that was the last time that they saw each other."

Hannah's body was swept out to sea, while her husband, Matthew, was able to survive by clinging to a palm tree.

Now the young teacher's mum is helping survivors of other tragedies by raising money for Shelterbox.

The Helston charity flew 11,000 crates of emergency aid to the disaster zone in the aftermath of the tsunami.

Spokesman Mark Nicholson said: "The Boxing Day tsunami was of such a scale as a natural disaster and required such a huge response that this was the first disaster to test the mettle of Shelterbox, although it was four years old.

"It was the way we developed our method of distributing aid.

"It was an example of how quickly we can get aid into an area. You can imagine the devastation caused all the way around the Indian ocean to many, many countries and coastal communities.

"There were a quarter of a million people who died in that event - but there were a quarter of a million more who were made homeless."

6:03am 24th December 2014

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