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26 Dec, 2014

Tourism developers want to wipe out mangroves that saved Thai village from tsunami – Al Jazeera

Baan Nai Rai, Thailand – Ten years ago when a massive tsunami swept away every house in this small Muslim village in southern Thailand, Cham Khiaw-Nin didn’t lament the loss of his property but rather the damage done to the mangrove forest.

“Mangroves are vital to us. We survive thanks to them because fish grow on them,” says the 60-year-old fisherman, caressing his long white beard in Phang-na province.

Villagers in Baan Nai Rai also survived the fury of the earthquake-driven tsunami – which killed more than 220,000 people in a dozen countries, 8,000 in Thailand, on December 26, 2004 – thanks to the protection provided by the dense mangrove forest.

Read the rest: The Thai village that escaped the tsunami – Features – Al Jazeera English.