Thailand: Spanish team's design selected for tsunami memorial

The memorial, designed by a Spanish team and dubbed the "Mountains of Remembrance," will include 30-meter (100-foot) towers and a museum, educational center, amphitheater, restaurants and shops.

The Spanish design was chosen in an international competition for the memorial, set for completion by 2008, the AP reports.

In the middle of the memorial towers will be an artificial mangrove area featuring what the designers call a "life tree," with branches and leaves representing the tsunami victims.

The memorial will be built at a national park in the seaside resort area of Khao Lak in Phang Nga, the province worst hit by the tsunami in Thailand.

Thailand's Culture Ministry and Council of Architects in September launched an international conceptual design competition that drew 379 design submissions from 43 countries.

The five finalists were from Finland, the United States, China and Australia, as well as Spain.

More than 216,000 people were killed when the Dec. 26, 2004 earthquake off Indonesia triggered a tsunami that hit 12 countries.

In Thailand the giant waves claimed at least 5,395 lives, leaving 2,817 missing and presumed dead. Another 8,457 were injured when the tsunami hit Thailand's southwestern Andaman Sea coast.

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