Banda Aceh Overview – After One Year Tsunami
Ir. Muwardi Nurdin
Former Mayor of Banda Aceh, Republic of Indonesia
Just over 1.5 years have past since the December 26, 2004, tsunami devastated the Province of Aceh, killing or injuring some 100,000 people and multiplying the problems of the province, which was already suffering from battles between the Indonesian army and armed independence forces of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM: Gerkan Aceh Mardeka). The half-century conflict has killed more than 15,000 soldiers and citizens of Banda Aceh, and the government placed Banda Aceh under martial law, limiting the number of foreign visitors. After the tsunami brought the previously unknown city to world attention, most people had to seek answers about where it was on the Internet or in atlases.