updated 2/23/2009 2:21:27 PM ET 2009-02-23T19:21:27

Indonesia opened a $5.6 million museum Monday to commemorate the 230,000 people who died in the 2004 Asian tsunami.

  1. Don't miss these Travel stories
    1. Lords of the gourd compete for Punkin Chunkin honors

      With teams using more than 100 unique apparatuses to launch globular projectiles a half-mile or more, the 27th annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin event is our pick as November’s Weird Festival of the Month.

    2. Airports, airlines work hard to return your lost items
    3. Expert: Tourist hordes threaten Sistine Chapel's art
    4. MGM Grand wants Las Vegas guests to Stay Well
    5. Report: Airlines collecting $36.1B in fees this year

The four-level building in hardest-hit Aceh province exhibits photographs of victims, stories of survivors and an electronic simulation of the massive undersea earthquake that triggered the 30-foot-high waves.

It also describes the tremendous outpouring of support from governments, companies and individuals in the aftermath of the Dec. 26, 2004, disaster, which caused death and destruction in a dozen nations.

More than $13 billion was pledged to house and feed survivors and to rebuild devastated coasts.

The government says the museum, designed by local architect Ridwan Kamil, is an important part of the recovery process, paying tribute to those who died and explaining to future generations what happened and why.

The opening was not without controversy.

More than 700 families are still living in barracks in Aceh, which was home to two-thirds of the victims, and some were disappointed to see millions of dollars being spent on a monument.

"They should be taking care of us first," said Anisah Tahir, 50, who has been living with her husband and two children in a tiny room in a squalid camp in the provincial capital, Banda Aceh.

"We need a decent place to live and sleep," she said.

Indonesia is located in the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin, and is one of the world's most earthquake-prone regions.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments