Best on the Box for August 25th heads to Channel 5.
The final episode of this three-part series airs this evening. The documentary has aired on consecutive nights with Dr Xand van Tulleken and Raksha Dave telling the dramatic story of the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004, one of the worst natural disasters in history.
Unpacking events minute by minute, hour by hour, Xand and Raksha reveal how the catastrophe unfolded, beginning with an enormous undersea earthquake. The killer wave it produced hit the shores of Indonesia first, then Thailand, Sri Lanka and beyond, causing the deaths of more than 250,000 people. Xand and Raksha meet the experts who reveal exactly how the disaster happened, as well as those caught up in it, who share their dramatic stories.
Tonight in the third and final part Dr Xand van Tulleken and Raksha Dave pick up the story eight hours after the destructive earthquake that caused the tsunami wave. Shock waves were still spreading out across the world, raising sea levels more than 5,000 miles away in South Africa. Meanwhile, survivors were searching for loved ones and trying to get messages back home.
Xand hears from Luke, who recalls trying desperately to phone his parents in Britain to tell them that he had survived, but that his brother Piers was missing. His parents, meanwhile, were watching the news of the unfolding tragedy, hoping against hope that their boys were ok.
In Sri Lanka, news reporter Katie Razzall had been on her honeymoon. Her hotel had been protected from the wave by a rocky headland, and she had survived uninjured. She began reporting on the horrifying scenes around her. The next few days were chaotic and tragic, as the clear-up operation began and international help began to appear in the affected areas. On New Year’s Eve, Luke’s parents finally received the news they were dreading: Piers’s body had been found.
While Xand hears from those that survived the terrible events, Raksha compares this disaster with the tsunami caused by the volcanic eruption of Krakatoa in 1883, discovers why seawalls are ineffective against tsunami waves, and finds out how satellites were used to get help to the right places.