Source: The Mercury News
On December 31, 2004 The Mercury News reported, "Amid the devastation of earthquake and tsunami, dazed refugees and weeping mourners seek solace - and shelter - on holy ground. Muslims across the ravaged northern coast of Sumatra crowded into debris-littered mosques Friday for their final prayers of the year, the stench of rotting corpses hanging over them. Buddhists in Thailand carried their dead to temples for cremation. Tens of thousands of homeless in India have taken refuge at Hindu and Muslim shrines. Mosques and churches in Banda Aceh were the first places many people ran when the disaster struck Sunday morning, killing perhaps 100,000 on Sumatra alone. Now, they are serving as clinics, morgues and community centers for a shattered region."