Local News

A Year Later, Tsunami Survivor Counts His Blessings

Posted December 26, 2005 10:04 a.m. EST

— An Apex man with close ties to Sri Lanka has been back to the country a few times since the a tsunami hit the country. He was also there a year ago when it struck initially.

It's estimated that about a quarter of a million people died or disappeared in the tsunami.

"The impact, the human suffering associated with the tsunami has not completely played itself Out," said survivor Tony Andrady nearly a year ago.

The Apex man had just returned from Sri Lanka when he spoke out about his experience. He was there when the tsunami hit, visiting for a friend's wedding.

I saw these masses of people apparently in panic, crossing the road and running," said Tony Andrady.

Andrady was lucky. He was driving along the west side of the island. But it was the southern and eastern coasts which took direct hits. Still, huge waves flooded many of the countries highways.

"There was a sense of fear and helplessness in the eyes of the people who were crossing the road," he said.

The tsunami generated one of the most generous outpourings of foreign aid ever known, according to the United Nations. There was more money than could be spent in one year. Some $13 billion was pledged to relief and recovery efforts.

Attached to every dollar that crosses the sea and goes to Sri Lanka, there is also a message of love, a message of caring, a message of friendship and I think that is more valuable than the dollars at this point in time," said Andrady.

Since the disaster, Andrady has been dedicated much of his time to relief efforts.