Adrift in Sri Lanka: The tsunami

Hundreds of people died in this train when it was hit by the tsunami waves on Sri Lanka’s south coast in December 2004 (©

Marijke van der Meer was travelling in the hill country of Sri Lanka in December 2004 when news came of the tsunami. She joined a Dutch nurse and an American doctor preparing and escorting medical supplies to the very hard hit east coast, to a devastated town called Pottuvil. The patients at a makeshift clinic had all lost someone and were in need of help. A few days later, she travelled to the south coast to the town of Hambantota, where saris hung in the trees and the lagoon was full of vehicles. In Tangalle, a Dutch woman living in Sri Lanka searched for her friend Ranjit, whose family owned a guesthouse right on the beach. A startling personal journey in the heart of this disaster.

Producer: Marijke van der Meer

Broadcast: February 21, 2005

The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union awarded this programme the ABU prize for External Radio Broadcasts in 2005.