PREVIEW: Tsunami, Channel 5

Xand van Tulleken and Raksha Dave tell the dramatic story of the tsunami on Boxing Day 2004 that killed more than 250,000 people, revealing how the catastrophe unfolded.



They begin 12 hours before the disaster on Christmas Day, when holidaymakers across Asia were enjoying blissful breaks, unaware that calamity was heading their way as two tectonic plates in the Indian Ocean that had been pushing together for millions of years were about to rupture.


The tsunami had already hit Indonesia and Thailand, but now a second wave was heading toward tourist hotspots on the Thai coast. Back in the UK, it was the middle of the night, but already the news wires were beginning to carry information about the unfolding disaster. Associated Press newsman Sandy McIntyre explains what happened, and describes how news gathering was changed for ever.



Shockwaves 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.


Tsunami begins Monday 23rd August at 9pm on Channel 5.