Waves Of Relief

MIKE NEWMAN / OCEAN-IMAGE.CO.UK

It is an irony not lost on the people of Arugam Bay that the waters from which they make their livelihood came so close to ruining them. With its 2-m waves, this 3-km stretch of beach on Sri Lanka's east coast is considered one of the world's top 10 surfing destinations and is home to the annual British pro surfing championships.

Over the past decade, a small industry of hotels and restaurants grew up around the board riders. At 9:04 a.m. on Dec. 26, however, Arugam Bay took the full force of the tsunami. Around 350 people died,...

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