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The 2004 Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
earthquake occurred at 00:58:53 UTC
UTC
on 26 December with the epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The shock had a moment magnitude of 9.1–9.3 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent). The undersea megathrust earthquake was caused when the Indian Plate
Indian Plate
was subducted by the Burma Plate
Burma Plate
and triggered a series of devastating tsunamis along the coasts of most landmasses bordering the Indian Ocean, killing 230,000–280,000 people in 14 countries, and inundating coastal communities with waves up to 30 metres (100 ft) high. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. Indonesia
Indonesia
was the hardest-hit country, followed by Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand. It is the third-largest earthquake ever recorded on a seismograph and had the longest duration of faulting ever observed, between 8.3 and 10 minutes.[10] It caused the entire planet to vibrate as much as 1 centimetre (0.4 inches)[11] and triggered other earthquakes as far away as Alaska.[12] Its epicentre was between Simeulue
Simeulue
and mainland Indonesia.[13] The plight of the affected people and countries prompted a worldwide humanitarian response. In all, the worldwide community donated more than US$14 billion (2004) in humanitarian aid.[14] The event is known by the scientific community as the Sumatra–Andaman earthquake.[15][16] The resulting tsunami was given various names, including the 2004 Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
tsunami, South Asian tsunami, Indonesian tsunami, Christmas tsunami and the Boxing Day tsunami.

Contents

1 Earthquake characteristics

1.1 Foreshock 1.2 Tectonic plates 1.3 Aftershocks and other earthquakes 1.4 Energy released

2 Tsunami

2.1 Signs and warnings 2.2 Aceh
Aceh
province, Sumatra, Indonesia 2.3 Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India 2.4 Sri Lanka 2.5 Thailand 2.6 Mainland India 2.7 Maldives 2.8 Myanmar 2.9 Somalia 2.10 Elsewhere in the Indian Ocean

3 Death toll and casualties

3.1 Countries affected 3.2 Event in historical context

4 Humanitarian response 5 Impact

5.1 Economic impacts 5.2 Environmental impact 5.3 Other effects

6 In popular culture

6.1 Apung 1 6.2 Films and television 6.3 Literature 6.4 Museum 6.5 Rediscovery of Mahabalipuram 6.6 Music

7 See also 8 References 9 External links

Earthquake characteristics

2004 Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
tsunami

Animation of tsunami caused by the earthquake showing how it radiated from the entire length of the 1,600 km (990 mi) rupture

Events

Timeline

Countries affected

Indonesia Sri Lanka India more...

Response

Humanitarian

See also

Warning System Library damage 2005 Nias– Simeulue
Simeulue
earthquake

v t e

The earthquake was initially documented as moment magnitude 8.8. In February 2005 scientists revised the estimate of the magnitude to 9.0.[17] Although the Pacific Tsunami
Tsunami
Warning Center has accepted these new numbers, the United States Geological Survey
United States Geological Survey
has so far not changed its estimate of 9.1. The most recent studies in 2006 have obtained a magnitude of Mw 9.1–9.3. Hiroo Kanamori of the California Institute of Technology believes that Mw 9.2 is a good representative value for the size of this earthquake.[18] The hypocentre of the main earthquake was approximately 160 km (100 mi) off the western coast of northern Sumatra, in the Indian Ocean just north of Simeulue
Simeulue
island at a depth of 30 km (19 mi) below mean sea level (initially reported as 10 km (6.2 mi)). The northern section of the Sunda megathrust
Sunda megathrust
ruptured over a length of 1,300 km (810 mi).[13] The earthquake (followed by the tsunami) was felt in Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
and the Maldives.[19] Splay faults, or secondary "pop up faults", caused long, narrow parts of the sea floor to pop up in seconds. This quickly elevated the height and increased the speed of waves, completely destroying the nearby Indonesian town of Lhoknga.[20]

The epicenter of the 2004 Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
earthquake and associated aftershocks in French.

The epicentre of the earthquake, just north of Simeulue
Simeulue
Island.

Indonesia
Indonesia
lies between the Pacific Ring of Fire
Ring of Fire
along the north-eastern islands adjacent to New Guinea, and the Alpide belt
Alpide belt
that runs along the south and west from Sumatra, Java, Bali, Flores
Flores
to Timor. Great earthquakes such as the Sumatra-Andaman event, which are invariably associated with megathrust events in subduction zones, have seismic moments that can account for a significant fraction of the global earthquake moment across century-scale time periods. Of all the seismic moment released by earthquakes in the 100 years from 1906 through 2005, roughly one-eighth was due to the Sumatra-Andaman event. This quake, together with the Good Friday earthquake (Alaska, 1964) and the Great Chilean earthquake
Great Chilean earthquake
(1960), account for almost half of the total moment. Since 1900 the only earthquakes recorded with a greater magnitude were the 1960 Great Chilean earthquake
Great Chilean earthquake
(magnitude 9.5) and the 1964 Good Friday earthquake in Prince William Sound
Prince William Sound
(9.2). The only other recorded earthquakes of magnitude 9.0 or greater were off Kamchatka, Russia, on 4 November 1952 (magnitude 9.0)[21] and Tōhoku, Japan (magnitude 9.1) in March 2011. Each of these megathrust earthquakes also spawned tsunamis in the Pacific Ocean. However, the death toll from these was significantly lower, primarily because of the lower population density along the coasts near affected areas and the much greater distances to more populated coasts and also due to the superior infrastructure and warning systems in MEDCs (More Economically Developed Countries) such as Japan. Other very large megathrust earthquakes occurred in 1868 (Peru, Nazca Plate and South American Plate); 1827 (Colombia, Nazca Plate
Nazca Plate
and South American Plate); 1812 (Venezuela, Caribbean Plate
Caribbean Plate
and South American Plate) and 1700 (western North America, Juan de Fuca Plate
Juan de Fuca Plate
and North American Plate). All of them are believed to be greater than magnitude 9, but no accurate measurements were available at the time. Foreshock The 2002 Sumatra
Sumatra
earthquake is believed to have been a foreshock, predating the main event by over two years.[22] Tectonic plates Main article: Plate tectonics

A pie chart comparing the seismic moment release for the largest earthquakes from 1906 to 2005 compared to all other earthquakes for the same period

The megathrust earthquake was unusually large in geographical and geological extent. An estimated 1,600 kilometres (1,000 mi) of fault surface slipped (or ruptured) about 15 metres (50 ft) along the subduction zone where the Indian Plate
Indian Plate
slides (or subducts) under the overriding Burma Plate. The slip did not happen instantaneously but took place in two phases over a period of several minutes: Seismographic and acoustic data indicate that the first phase involved a rupture about 400 kilometres (250 mi) long and 100 kilometres (60 mi) wide, located 30 kilometres (19 mi) beneath the sea bed—the largest rupture ever known to have been caused by an earthquake. The rupture proceeded at a speed of about 2.8 kilometres per second (1.7 miles per second) (10,000 km/h or 6,200 mph), beginning off the coast of Aceh
Aceh
and proceeding north-westerly over a period of about 100 seconds. A pause of about another 100 seconds took place before the rupture continued northwards towards the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. However, the northern rupture occurred more slowly than in the south, at about 2.1 km/s (1.3 mi/s) (7,500 km/h or 4,700 mph), continuing north for another five minutes to a plate boundary where the fault type changes from subduction to strike-slip (the two plates slide past one another in opposite directions). The Indian Plate
Indian Plate
is part of the great Indo-Australian Plate, which underlies the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
and Bay of Bengal, and is drifting north-east at an average of 6 centimetres per year (2.4 inches per year). The India
India
Plate meets the Burma Plate
Burma Plate
(which is considered a portion of the great Eurasian Plate) at the Sunda Trench. At this point the India
India
Plate subducts beneath the Burma Plate, which carries the Nicobar Islands, the Andaman Islands, and northern Sumatra. The India
India
Plate sinks deeper and deeper beneath the Burma Plate
Burma Plate
until the increasing temperature and pressure drive volatiles out of the subducting plate. These volatiles rise into the overlying plate causing partial melting and the formation of magma. The rising magma intrudes into the crust above and exits the Earth's crust through volcanoes in the form of a volcanic arc. The volcanic activity that results as the Indo-Australian Plate
Indo-Australian Plate
subducts the Eurasian Plate
Eurasian Plate
has created the Sunda Arc. As well as the sideways movement between the plates, the sea floor is estimated to have risen by several metres, displacing an estimated 30 cubic kilometres (7.2 cu mi) of water and triggering devastating tsunami waves. The waves did not originate from a point source, as was inaccurately depicted in some illustrations of their paths of travel, but rather radiated outwards along the entire 1,600-kilometre (1,000 mi) length of the rupture (acting as a line source). This greatly increased the geographical area over which the waves were observed, reaching as far as Mexico, Chile, and the Arctic. The raising of the sea floor significantly reduced the capacity of the Indian Ocean, producing a permanent rise in the global sea level by an estimated 0.1 millimetres (0.004 in).[23] Aftershocks and other earthquakes

Locations of initial earthquake and all aftershocks measuring greater than 4.0 from 26 December 2004 to 10 January 2005. The site of the original quake is marked by the large star in the lower right square of the grid.

Numerous aftershocks were reported off the Andaman Islands, the Nicobar Islands
Nicobar Islands
and the region of the original epicentre in the hours and days that followed. The magnitude 8.7 2005 Nias–Simeulue earthquake, which originated off the coast of the Sumatran island of Nias, is not considered an aftershock, despite its proximity to the epicenter, and was most likely triggered by stress changes associated with the 2004 event.[24] The earthquake produced its own aftershocks (some registering a magnitude of as great as 6.1) and presently ranks as the third largest earthquake ever recorded on the moment magnitude or Richter magnitude scale. Other aftershocks of up to magnitude 6.6 continued to shake the region daily for three or four months.[25] As well as continuing aftershocks, the energy released by the original earthquake continued to make its presence felt well after the event. A week after the earthquake, its reverberations could still be measured, providing valuable scientific data about the Earth's interior. The 2004 Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
earthquake came just three days after a magnitude 8.1 earthquake in an uninhabited region west of New Zealand's subantarctic Auckland Islands, and north of Australia's Macquarie Island. This is unusual, since earthquakes of magnitude 8 or more occur only about once per year on average.[26] However, the U.S. Geological Survey sees no evidence of a causal relationship between these events.[27] The December earthquake is thought to have triggered activity in both Leuser Mountain[28] and Mount Talang,[29] volcanoes in Aceh
Aceh
province along the same range of peaks, while the 2005 Nias–Simeulue earthquake had sparked activity in Lake Toba, an ancient crater in Sumatra.[30] Energy released

The tsunami strikes Ao Nang, Thailand.

The energy released on the Earth's surface only (ME, which is the seismic potential for damage) by the 2004 Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
earthquake and tsunami was estimated at 1.1×1017 joules,[31] or 26 megatons of TNT. This energy is equivalent to over 1,500 times that of the Hiroshima atomic bomb, but less than that of Tsar Bomba, the largest nuclear weapon ever detonated; however, the total work done MW (and thus energy) by the quake was 4.0×1022 joules (4.0×1029 ergs),[32] the vast majority underground, which is over 360,000 times more than its ME, equivalent to 9,600 gigatons of TNT equivalent
TNT equivalent
(550 million times that of Hiroshima) or about 370 years of energy use in the United States at 2005 levels of 1.08×1020 J. The only recorded earthquakes with a larger MW were the 1960 Chilean and 1964 Alaskan quakes, with 2.5×1023 joules (250 ZJ) and 7.5×1022 joules (75 ZJ) respectively.[33] The earthquake generated a seismic oscillation of the Earth's surface of up to 20–30 cm (8–12 in), equivalent to the effect of the tidal forces caused by the Sun and Moon. The seismic waves of the earthquake were felt across the planet; as far away as the U.S. state of Oklahoma, where vertical movements of 3 mm (0.12 in) were recorded. By February 2005, the earthquake's effects were still detectable as a 20 μm (0.02 mm; 0.0008 in) complex harmonic oscillation of the Earth's surface, which gradually diminished and merged with the incessant free oscillation of the Earth more than 4 months after the earthquake.[34] Because of its enormous energy release and shallow rupture depth, the earthquake generated remarkable seismic ground motions around the globe, particularly due to huge Rayleigh (surface) elastic waves that exceeded 1 cm (0.4 in) in vertical amplitude everywhere on Earth. The record section plot displays vertical displacements of the Earth's surface recorded by seismometers from the IRIS/USGS Global Seismographic Network plotted with respect to time (since the earthquake initiation) on the horizontal axis, and vertical displacements of the Earth
Earth
on the vertical axis (note the 1 cm scale bar at the bottom for scale). The seismograms are arranged vertically by distance from the epicenter in degrees. The earliest, lower amplitude, signal is that of the compressional (P) wave, which takes about 22 minutes to reach the other side of the planet (the antipode; in this case near Ecuador). The largest amplitude signals are seismic surface waves that reach the antipode after about 100 minutes. The surface waves can be clearly seen to reinforce near the antipode (with the closest seismic stations in Ecuador), and to subsequently encircle the planet to return to the epicentral region after about 200 minutes. A major aftershock (magnitude 7.1) can be seen at the closest stations starting just after the 200 minute mark. The aftershock would be considered a major earthquake under ordinary circumstances, but is dwarfed by the mainshock.

Vertical-component ground motions recorded by the IRIS/USGS Global Seismographic Network.

The shift of mass and the massive release of energy very slightly altered the Earth's rotation. The exact amount is not yet known, but theoretical models suggest the earthquake shortened the length of a day by 2.68 microseconds, due to a decrease in the oblateness of the Earth.[35] It also caused the Earth
Earth
to minutely "wobble" on its axis by up to 2.5 cm (1 in) in the direction of 145° east longitude,[36] or perhaps by up to 5 or 6 cm (2.0 or 2.4 in).[37] However, because of tidal effects of the Moon, the length of a day increases at an average of 15 µs per year, so any rotational change due to the earthquake will be lost quickly. Similarly, the natural Chandler wobble of the Earth, which in some cases can be up to 15 m (50 ft), will eventually offset the minor wobble produced by the earthquake. There was 10 m (33 ft) movement laterally and 4–5 m (13–16 ft) vertically along the fault line. Early speculation was that some of the smaller islands south-west of Sumatra, which is on the Burma Plate
Burma Plate
(the southern regions are on the Sunda Plate), might have moved south-west by up to 36 m (120 ft), but more accurate data released more than a month after the earthquake found the movement to be about 20 cm (8 in).[38] Since movement was vertical as well as lateral, some coastal areas may have been moved to below sea level. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Nicobar Islands
appear to have shifted south-west by around 1.25 m (4 ft 1 in) and to have sunk by 1 m (3 ft 3 in).[39] In February 2005, the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
vessel HMS Scott surveyed the seabed around the earthquake zone, which varies in depth between 1,000 and 5,000 m (550 and 2,730 fathoms; 3,300 and 16,400 ft). The survey, conducted using a high-resolution, multi-beam sonar system, revealed that the earthquake had made a huge impact on the topography of the seabed. 1,500-metre-high (5,000 ft) thrust ridges created by previous geologic activity along the fault had collapsed, generating landslides several kilometres wide. One such landslide consisted of a single block of rock some 100 m high and 2 km long (300 ft by 1.25 mi). The momentum of the water displaced by tectonic uplift had also dragged massive slabs of rock, each weighing millions of tons, as far as 10 km (6 mi) across the seabed. An oceanic trench several kilometres wide was exposed in the earthquake zone.[40] The TOPEX/Poseidon
TOPEX/Poseidon
and Jason-1
Jason-1
satellites happened to pass over the tsunami as it was crossing the ocean.[41] These satellites carry radars that measure precisely the height of the water surface; anomalies of the order of 50 cm (20 in) were measured. Measurements from these satellites may prove invaluable for the understanding of the earthquake and tsunami.[42] Unlike data from tide gauges installed on shores, measurements obtained in the middle of the ocean can be used for computing the parameters of the source earthquake without having to compensate for the complex ways in which close proximity to the coast changes the size and shape of a wave. Tsunami

NOAA's tsunami travel time (TTT) map for the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The TTT map calculates the first-arrival travel times of the tsunami, following their generation at the earthquake epicenter. Note that the maps do not provide the height or the strength of the wave, only the arrival times. The number tags represent hours after the initial event. Map contours represent 1-hour intervals. Red indicates 1- to 4-hour arrival times, Yellow indicates 5- to 6-hour arrival times, Green indicates 7- to 14-hour arrival times, and Blue indicates 15- to 21-hour arrival times. Maps were generated from earthquake epicenters in the NGDC Global Historical Tsunami
Tsunami
Database using NGDC 2-Minute Gridded Global Relief Data bathymetry. The map was created through models based on quality-controlled source data, and an integration of many data sets together.

Scale showing the size of the tsunami waves that hit Indonesia

The sudden vertical rise of the seabed by several metres during the earthquake displaced massive volumes of water, resulting in a tsunami that struck the coasts of the Indian Ocean. A tsunami that causes damage far away from its source is sometimes called a teletsunami and is much more likely to be produced by vertical motion of the seabed than by horizontal motion.[43] The tsunami, like all others, behaved very differently in deep water than in shallow water. In deep ocean water, tsunami waves form only a low, very broad hump, barely noticeable and harmless, which generally travels at a very high speed of 500 to 1,000 km/h (310 to 620 mph); in shallow water near coastlines, a tsunami slows down to only tens of kilometres per hour but, in doing so, forms large destructive waves. Scientists investigating the damage in Aceh
Aceh
found evidence that the wave reached a height of 24 metres (80 ft) when coming ashore along large stretches of the coastline, rising to 30 metres (100 ft) in some areas when traveling inland.[5] Radar
Radar
satellites recorded the heights of tsunami waves in deep water: at two hours after the earthquake, the maximum height was 60 centimetres (2 ft). These are the first such observations ever made. These observations could not be used to provide a warning, since the satellites were not built for that purpose and the data took hours to analyze.[44][45] According to Tad Murty, vice-president of the Tsunami
Tsunami
Society, the total energy of the tsunami waves was equivalent to about five megatons of TNT (20 petajoules), which is more than twice the total explosive energy used during all of World War II (including the two atomic bombs) but still a couple of orders of magnitude less than the energy released in the earthquake itself. In many places the waves reached as far as 2 km (1.2 mi) inland.[46]

Play media

Tsunami
Tsunami
wave field in the Bay of Bengal
Bay of Bengal
one hour after the M=9.2 earthquake. View to the northwest.

Because the 1,600 km (1,000 mi) fault affected by the earthquake was in a nearly north-south orientation, the greatest strength of the tsunami waves was in an east-west direction. Bangladesh, which lies at the northern end of the Bay of Bengal, had very few casualties despite being a low-lying country relatively near the epicenter. It also benefited from the fact that the earthquake proceeded more slowly in the northern rupture zone, greatly reducing the energy of the water displacements in that region. Coasts that have a landmass between them and the tsunami's location of origin are usually safe; however, tsunami waves can sometimes diffract around such landmasses. Thus, the state of Kerala
Kerala
was hit by the tsunami despite being on the western coast of India, and the western coast of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
suffered substantial impacts. Distance alone was no guarantee of safety, as Somalia
Somalia
was hit harder than Bangladesh
Bangladesh
despite being much farther away. Because of the distances involved, the tsunami took anywhere from fifteen minutes to seven hours to reach the coastlines.[47][48] The northern regions of the Indonesian island of Sumatra
Sumatra
were hit very quickly, while Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
and the east coast of India
India
were hit roughly 90 minutes to two hours later. Thailand
Thailand
was struck about two hours later despite being closer to the epicentre, because the tsunami traveled more slowly in the shallow Andaman Sea
Andaman Sea
off its western coast. The tsunami was noticed as far as Struisbaai
Struisbaai
in South Africa, some 8,500 km (5,300 mi) away, where a 1.5 m (5 ft) high tide surged on shore about 16 hours after the earthquake. It took a relatively long time to reach Struisbaai
Struisbaai
at the southernmost point of Africa, probably because of the broad continental shelf off South Africa
Africa
and because the tsunami would have followed the South African coast from east to west. The tsunami also reached Antarctica, where tidal gauges at Japan's Showa Base
Showa Base
recorded oscillations of up to a metre (3 ft 3 in), with disturbances lasting a couple of days.[49] Some of the tsunami's energy escaped into the Pacific Ocean, where it produced small but measurable tsunamis along the western coasts of North and South America, typically around 20 to 40 cm (7.9 to 15.7 in).[50] At Manzanillo, Mexico, a 2.6 m (8 ft 6 in) crest-to-trough tsunami was measured. As well, the tsunami was large enough to be detected in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, which puzzled many scientists, as the tsunamis measured in some parts of South America were larger than those measured in some parts of the Indian Ocean. It has been theorized that the tsunamis were focused and directed at long ranges by the mid-ocean ridges which run along the margins of the continental plates.[51] Signs and warnings

Maximum recession of tsunami waters at Kata Noi Beach, Thailand, prior the third—and strongest—tsunami wave (sea visible in the right corner, the beach is at the extreme left), 10:25 am local time.

Despite a lag of up to several hours between the earthquake and the impact of the tsunami, nearly all of the victims were taken completely by surprise. There were no tsunami warning systems in the Indian Ocean to detect tsunamis or to warn the general population living around the ocean.[52] Tsunami
Tsunami
detection is not easy because while a tsunami is in deep water it has little height and a network of sensors is needed to detect it. Setting up the communications infrastructure to issue timely warnings is an even bigger problem, particularly in a relatively poor part of the world. Tsunamis are much more frequent in the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
because of earthquakes in the "Ring of Fire", and an effective tsunami warning system has long been in place there. Although the extreme western edge of the Ring of Fire
Ring of Fire
extends into the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
(the point where the earthquake struck), no warning system exists in that ocean. Tsunamis there are relatively rare despite earthquakes being relatively frequent in Indonesia. The last major tsunami was caused by the Krakatoa
Krakatoa
eruption of 1883. It should be noted that not every earthquake produces large tsunamis; on 28 March 2005, a magnitude 8.7 earthquake hit roughly the same area of the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
but did not result in a major tsunami. The first warning sign of a possible tsunami is the earthquake itself. However, tsunamis can strike thousands of kilometres away where the earthquake is only felt weakly or not at all. Also, in the minutes preceding a tsunami strike, the sea often recedes temporarily from the coast, which was observed on the eastern side of the rupture zone of the earthquake such as around the coastlines of Aceh
Aceh
province, Phuket island and Khao Lak
Khao Lak
area in Thailand, Penang
Penang
island of Malaysia
Malaysia
and the Andaman and Nicobar islands. Around the Indian Ocean, this rare sight reportedly induced people, especially children, to visit the coast to investigate and collect stranded fish on as much as 2.5 km (1.6 mi) of exposed beach, with fatal results.[53] However, not all tsunamis cause this "disappearing sea" effect. In some cases, there are no warning signs at all: the sea will suddenly swell without retreating, surprising many people and giving them little time to flee. Reportedly, scuba divers near the abundant coral reefs in Thailand
Thailand
and the Maldives
Maldives
were caught off guard by violent, swirling underwater currents. The divers described the experience like being in a 'washing machine'. Coral
Coral
reef animals such as fish were also absent as the tsunami passed by.[54] One of the few coastal areas to evacuate ahead of the tsunami was on the Indonesian island of Simeulue, very close to the epicentre. Island folklore recounted an earthquake and tsunami in 1907, and the islanders fled to inland hills after the initial shaking and before the tsunami struck. These tales and oral folklore from previous generations may have helped the survival of the inhabitants.[55] On Maikhao beach in northern Phuket, Thailand, a 10-year-old British tourist named Tilly Smith had studied tsunami in geography at school and recognised the warning signs of the receding ocean and frothing bubbles. She and her parents warned others on the beach, which was evacuated safely.[56] John Chroston, a biology teacher from Scotland, also recognised the signs at Kamala Bay north of Phuket, taking a busload of vacationers and locals to safety on higher ground. Anthropologists had initially expected the aboriginal population of the Andaman Islands
Andaman Islands
to be badly affected by the tsunami and even feared the already depopulated Onge tribe could have been wiped out.[57] Many of the aboriginal tribes evacuated and suffered fewer casualties.[58][59] Oral traditions developed from previous earthquakes helped the aboriginal tribes escape the tsunami. For example, the folklore of the Onges talks of "huge shaking of ground followed by high wall of water". Almost all of the Onge people
Onge people
seemed to have survived the tsunami.[60] Aceh
Aceh
province, Sumatra, Indonesia

A two-story house damaged by the tsunami showing the tsunami inundation height in downtown Banda Aceh.

The tsunami struck the west and north coasts of northern Sumatra, particularly in Aceh
Aceh
province, Indonesia, during the early morning. At Ulee Lheue in Banda Aceh, a survivor described three waves, with the first wave rising only to the foundation of the buildings. This was followed by a large withdrawal of the sea before the second and third waves hit.[61] The tsunami reached shore 15–20 minutes after the earthquake, and the second was bigger than the first. A local resident living at Banda Aceh
Aceh
stated that the wave was 'higher than my house'.[62] Another resident living 2 km (1.2 mi) near the coast on the outskirt of the city informed that the tsunami was 'like a wall, very black' in colour and had a 'distinct sound' getting louder as it nears the coast.[63] The maximum runup height of the tsunami was measured at a hill between Lhoknga
Lhoknga
and Leupung, located on the west coast of the northern tip of Sumatra, near Banda Aceh, and reached more than 30 m (100 ft).[6] The tsunami heights in Sumatra:[64]

15–30 m (49 ft–98 ft) on the west coast of Aceh. 6–12 m (19.7 ft–39.4 ft) on the Banda Aceh
Aceh
coast. 6 m (19.7 ft) on the Krueng Raya coast (3 oil tanks floated out) 5 m (16.4 ft) on the Sigli
Sigli
coast. 3–6 m (9.8 ft–19.7 ft) on the north coast of Weh Island directly facing the tsunami source. 3 m (9.8 ft) on the opposite side of the coast of Weh Island facing the tsunami.

The tsunami height on the Banda Aceh
Aceh
coast were lower than half of that on the west coast. The tsunami height was reduced by half from 12 m (39.4 ft) at Ulee Lheue to 6 m (19.7 ft) a further 8 km (4.97 miles) to the northeast. The inundation was observed to lie 3–4 km (1.86–2.49 miles) inland throughout the city. Flow depths over the ground were observed to be over 9 m (29.5 ft) in the seaside section of Ulee Lheue and tapered landward. The level of destruction was more extreme on the northwestern flank of the city in the areas immediately inland of the aquaculture ponds. The area toward the sea was wiped clean of nearly every structure, while closer to the river—dense construction in a commercial district showed the effects of severe flooding. The flow depth was just at the level of the second floor, and there were large amounts of debris piled along the streets and in the ground-floor storefronts. One of the reasons seems to be that there is an archipelago between Lhoknga
Lhoknga
and Banda Aceh. Within 2–3 km (1.24–1.86 miles) from the shoreline, houses, except for strongly-built reinforced concrete ones with brick walls, which seemed to have been partially damaged by the earthquake before the tsunami attack, were completely swept away or destroyed by the tsunami.[64][65] Three small islands: Weh, Breueh, and Nasi, lie just north of the capital city. The tsunami effects on two of the islands, Breueh and Nasi were extreme, with a runup of 10–20 m (33–66 ft) on the west-facing shores. Coastal villages were completely destroyed by the tsunami waves. On Pulau Weh, however, the island experienced strong surges in the port of Sabang, yet there was little damage with a reported runup values of 3–5 m (9.8–16.4 ft), which was most likely shadowed from the direct tsunami attack by the islands to the southwest.[65] In Lhoknga, a town in Aceh
Aceh
Besar Regency, Aceh
Aceh
Special
Special
Region, Indonesia, located on the western side of the island of Sumatra, 13 km (8.08 miles) southwest of Banda Aceh
Aceh
was completely flattened and destroyed by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, where its population dwindled from 7,500 to 400. The tsunami waves were almost 30 m (98.4 ft) high. Eyewitnesses reported 10 to 12 waves, the second and third ones being the highest. The sea receded (drawback) 10 minutes after the earthquake and the first wave came rapidly landward as a turbulent flow (flood) with depths ranging from 0.5 to 2.5 m (1.64 ft–8.20 ft) high. The second and third waves was 15–30 m (49.2 ft–98.4 ft) high at the coast, described having an appearance to a surf wave (cobra-shaped) but 'taller than the coconut trees' and was 'like a mountain'.[66] Consequently, the tsunami also stranded cargo ships and barges and destroyed a cement factory near the Lampuuk coast.[6][67][68] Moreover, surveyed areas by scientists show runup heights over 20 m (65.6 ft) on the northwest coast of Sumatra
Sumatra
in the Aceh province with a maximum runup of 51 m (167.3 ft).[69] In Meulaboh
Meulaboh
based on survivor testimonies, tsunami arrived after the sea receded about 500 m (0.31 miles), followed by an advancing small tsunami. The second and third destructive waves arrived later, which exceeded the height of the coconut trees. The inundation distance is about 5 km (3.1 miles).[70] Such high and fast waves arising from the epicentre by a megathrust earthquake were later found to be due to splay faults, secondary faults arising due to cracking of the sea floor to jut upwards in seconds, causing waves' speed and height to increase. A large slip of 30 m (98.4 ft) was estimated on the subfault located off the west coast of Aceh
Aceh
province. Another factor is subsidence at Banda Aceh
Aceh
(20–60 cm), Peukan Bada (>20 cm), Lhok Nga and Leupung
Leupung
(>1.5 m).[64]

An overturned cement carrier, the Sinar Andalas caused by the tsunami in Lhoknga.

Other towns on Aceh's west coast hit by the disaster included Leupung, Lhokruet, Lamno, Patek, Calang, Teunom, and the island of Simeulue. Affected or destroyed towns on the region's north and east coast were Pidie Regency, Samalanga, Panteraja and Lhokseumawe. The very high fatality in the area is mainly due to the unpreparedness of the population from such an event. Helicopter survey showed entire settlements virtually destroyed with destruction miles inland with only some mosques left standing, which provided refuge for the people from the tsunami. Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India The tsunami arrived in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Nicobar Islands
minutes after the earthquake, and it caused extensive devastation to the islands' environment. Specifically, the Andaman Islands
Andaman Islands
were moderately affected while the island of Little Andaman and the Nicobar Islands were severely affected by the tsunami. The tsunami survey were carried out in Little Andaman (mainly at Hut Bay), South Andaman (mainly in and around Port Blair), Car Nicobar (along Kankana-Mus sector), Great Nicobar (mainly at Campbell Bay and Joginder Nagar area).[71] In the South Andaman, based on local eyewitnesses, tsunami waves attacked three times. Of the three, the third one was the most devastating. Flooding occurred at the coastlines of the islands and low-lying areas inland, which are connected to open sea through creeks. Inundation
Inundation
has been observed, along east coast of South Andaman Island and is found to be restricted at Chidiyatapu, Burmanallah, Kodiaghat, Beadnabad, Corbyn’s cove and Marina Park/Aberdeen Jetty areas. Along the west coast, the inundation has been observed around Guptapara, Manjeri, Wandoor, Collinpur and Tirur regions. Several near shore establishments and numerous infrastructures such as seawalls and a 20 MW diesel generated power plant at Bamboo Flat were extensively damaged.[71] Results of the tsunami survey in South Andaman along Chiriyatapu, Corbyn’s Cove and Wandoor beaches:

5.0 m (16.4 ft) in maximum tsunami height with a run-up of 4.24 m (13.9 ft) at Chiriyatapu Beach. 5.48 m (18 ft) in maximum tsunami height and run-up at Corbyn's Cove Beach. 6.64 m (21.8 ft) in maximum tsunami height and run-up of 4.63 m (15.2 ft) at Wandoor Beach.

Meanwhile, in the Little Andaman, tsunami waves impinged on the eastern shore of this island 25 to 30 minutes after the earthquake. It was a four-wave cycle; out of which the fourth one was most devastating with a tsunami wave height of about 10 m (33 ft). The tsunami water had converted the settlements at Hut Bay into rubbles within a range of 1 km inland from the seashore. Everything was destroyed including the jetty and the breakwater. Run up level up to 3.3 m (10.8 ft) have been measured.[71] Moreover, in Malacca located on the island of Car Nicobar, According to local people, three pulses of tsunami waves attacked the area three times. The first wave that came 5 minutes after the earthquake was preceded by recession of the seawater up to 600–700 m (1969–2297 ft), exposing the seabed. The second and third waves came with a 10 minutes interval after the first and second waves respectively. The third wave was the strongest, with a maximum tsunami wave height of 11 m (36 ft) and was accompanied by a loud noise. The landward flow direction measured from bent rods was towards S800 W and the back flow was towards east direction. The inundation limit is 1.125 m (0.41 ft) from the sea water/land contact (on the date of measurement) towards west and restricted up to 10 m.[71] Furthermore, waves nearly 3 stories high devastated the Indian Air Force base, located just south of Malacca. The tsunami waves attacked the area three times with a maximum tsunami wave height of 11 m (36 ft). Inundation
Inundation
limit was found to be up to 1.25 km (4101 ft) inland. The impact of the waves was so severe that four Oil tankers of IOC were thrown almost 800 m (2624 ft) from the seashore near Malacca to Air force colony main gate.[71] In Chuckchucha and Lapati, the tsunami arrived in a three wave cycle with a maximum tsunami wave height of 12 m (39 ft). In Campbell Bay of Great Nicobar island, the tsunami waves hit the area three times with an inundation limit of 250–550 m (820–1804 ft). The first wave came within 5 minutes of the earthquake. The second and third waves came 10 minutes after first and second waves respectively. The second wave was the strongest with a loud noise. Deadly tsunami waves wreaked havoc in this densely populated Jogindar Nagar area, situated 13 km south of Campbell Bay. According to local information, tsunami waves attacked the area thrice. The first wave came 5 minutes after the main shock (0629 hrs.) with a marginal drop in sea level. Second wave came 10 minutes after the first one with a maximum height of 4.84 m (15.9 ft) and caused the major destruction. The third wave came within 15 minutes after the second one with a lower wave height. The maximum inundation limit due to tsunami water intrusion has been found to be about 500 m (0.5 km).[71] The worst affected island in the Andaman & Nicobar chain is Katchall Island with 303 people confirmed dead and 4,354 missing out of a total population of 5,312.[72][73][74] Eyewitnesses at Port Blair
Port Blair
recall that the water receded before the first wave, and the third wave was the tallest and caused the most damage. However, at Hut Bay, Malacca and Campbell Bay — locations far south of Port Blair — it was reported that the water level rose by about 1–2 m (3.3 ft–6.6 ft) from the normal sea level and remained there before the first wave crashed ashore. Reports of tsunami wave height:[75][76]

1.5 m (4.9 ft) at Diglipur and Rangat at North Andaman Island. 8 m (26.2 ft) high at Campbell Bay (in Great Nicobar Island), 10–12 m (32.8 ft–39.4 ft) high at Malacca (in Car Nicobar Island) and at Hut Bay
Hut Bay
(in Little Andaman Island). 3 m (9.8 ft) high at Port Blair
Port Blair
(in South Andaman Island).

The significant shielding of Port Blair
Port Blair
and Campbell Bay by steep mountainous outcrops may have contributed to the relatively low wave heights at these locations, whereas the open terrain along the eastern coast at Malacca and Hut Bay
Hut Bay
likely contributed to the great height of the tsunami waves [73][77] Indeed, many infrastructures near the coasts and buildings were harshly damaged by the waves.[74] Sri Lanka The tsunami first arrived on the eastern coast and subsequently refracted around the southern point of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
(Dondra Head). The refracted tsunami waves inundated the southwestern part of Sri Lanka after some of its energy had been reflected from impact with the Maldives.[78] Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
is located 1,700 km (1056.33 miles) far from the epicenter and the tsunami source, so no one felt the ground shake and the tsunami hit the entire coastline of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
around 2 hours after the earthquake.[79] It seems that the tsunami flooding consisted of three main waves, with the second being the largest and most destructive.[80] The first tsunami waves had initially caused a small flood (positive wave) as it struck the Sri Lankan coastline. Moments later, the ocean floor was exposed to as much as 1 km (0.62 miles) in places due to drawback (negative wave), which was followed by a massive second tsunami wave in the form of a flood. Certain locations managed to reduce the power of the waves through construction of seawalls and breakwaters. The largest run-up measured was at 12.5 m (41 ft) with inundation distance of 390 m to 1.5 km (0.242 miles-0.932 miles) in Yala.[81] In Hambantota, tsunami run-ups are measured at 11 m (36.1 ft) with the greatest inundation distance of 2 km (1.24 miles), and tsunami run-up measurements along the Sri Lankan coasts are at 2.4–11 m (7.87 ft–36.1 ft).[78][81] Tsunami
Tsunami
waves measured on the east coast ranged from 4.5 m-9 m (14.8 ft–29.5 ft) at Pottuvill to around Batticaloa, 2.6 m- 5 m (8.53 ft–16.4 ft) in the northeast around Trincomalee
Trincomalee
and 4 m-5 m (13.1 ft–16.4 ft) in the west coast from Moratuwa to Ambalangoda.

Fishermen's boat stranded in Kallady, Batticaloa, Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
tsunami height survey:[79][80]

9 m (29.5 Ft) at Koggala. 6 m (19.7 ft) at Galle
Galle
port. 4.8 m (15.7 ft) around the Galle
Galle
coast. 8.71 m (28.6 ft) at Nonagama. 4.9 m (16.1 ft) at Weligama. 4 m (13.1 ft) at Dodundawa. 4.7 m (15.4 ft) at Ambalangoda. 4.7 m (15.4 ft) at Hikkaduwa
Hikkaduwa
Fishery Harbour. 10 m (33 ft) at Kahawa. 4.8 m (15.7 ft) at North Beach
Beach
of Beruwala. 6 m (19.7 ft) at Paiyagala.

The Sumudra Devi, a passenger train out of Colombo, was derailed and overturned by the tsunami.[82] The tsunami caused the 2004 Sri Lanka tsunami-rail disaster which took at least 1,700 lives, making it the largest single rail disaster in world history by death toll. Estimates based on the state of the shoreline and a high-water mark on a nearby building place the tsunami 7.5–9 m (24.6 ft to 29.5 ft) above sea level and 2–3 m (6.6 ft to 9.8 ft) higher than the top of the train.[79] In Sri Lanka, the civilian casualties were second only to those in Indonesia. Reports vary on the number of deaths since many people are still missing and the country lacks adequate communications. The eastern shores of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
faced the hardest impact since they were facing the epicenter of the earthquake. The southwestern shores were hit later, but the death toll was just as severe. The southwestern shores are a hotspot for tourists as well as the fishing economy. Tourism and fishing industries created high population densities along the coast.[83] The coastal lifestyle of people and degradation of the natural environment in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
contributed to the high death tolls. In addition to the high number of fatalities, approximately 90,000 buildings were destroyed. Houses were easily destroyed since they were built mostly from wood.[83] Thailand The tsunami hit the southwest coast of southern Thailand, which was about 500 km (310.69 miles) from the epicenter. The region is prominent with tourists internationally. Since the tsunami hit during high tide, its damage was severe. Approximately 5,400 people were killed and 3,100 people were reported missing in Thailand. The places where the tsunami struck were Khao Lak, Phuket
Phuket
Island, the Phi Phi Islands, Koh Racha Yai, Koh Lanta Yai and Ao Nang
Ao Nang
of Krabi
Krabi
province, offshore archipelagos like the Surin Islands, the Similan Islands, and coastal areas of Satun, Ranong, Phang Nga, Trang and Krabi
Krabi
provinces. The country experienced the largest tsunami runup height of any location outside of Sumatra, which occurred at Khao Lak
Khao Lak
and the areas of Takua Pa district that are facing the Andaman Sea. The tsunami heights recorded:[84][85]

6–10 m (19.7 ft–32.8 ft) in Khao Lak. 3–6 m (9.84 ft–19.7 ft) along the west coast of Phuket island. 3 m (9.84 ft) along the south coast of Phuket
Phuket
island. 2 m (6.56 ft) along the east coast of Phuket
Phuket
island. 4–6 m (13.12 ft–19.7 ft) on the Phi Phi Islands. 19.6 m (64.3 ft) at Ban Thung Dap. 5 m (16.4 ft) at Ramson. 6.8 m (22.3 ft) at Ban Thale Nok. 5 m (16.4 ft) at Hat Praphat ( Ranong
Ranong
Coastal Resources Research Station). 6.3 m (20.7 ft) at Thai Muang district. 6.8 m (22.3 ft) at Rai Dan.

The province of Phang-Nga was the most heavily affected area in Thailand
Thailand
by the gigantic tsunami. The northern part of Phang-Nga Province is a rural area with fishery and agricultural villages while the central part has several resort hotels. Khao Lak
Khao Lak
is located in the south of Phang-Nga Province with many luxurious hotels, popular to foreign tourists, especially from Europe. Khao Lak
Khao Lak
was hit by the gigantic tsunami after 10:00 a.m. and the death toll in the area was the largest in Thailand.[86] Many local villagers and tourists lost their lives during the event. A maximum inundation of approximately 2 km (1.2 miles) and the inundated depths were 4–7 m (13.12 ft–23 ft) in Khao Lak. Surveys conducted show that the tsunami inundated the third floor of a resort hotel. The tsunami heights in Khao Lak
Khao Lak
were much higher than Phuket
Phuket
Island. The reason for the difference seems to have been caused by the local bathymetry off Khao Lak. According to some interviews with local residents and affected tourists, the leading wave produced an initial depression, called a tsunami drawback or 'disappearing sea' effect and the second wave was largest.[84] The highest recorded tsunami runup measured was at 19.6 m (64.3 ft) at Ban Thung Dap, located on the southwest tip of Ko Phra Thong
Ko Phra Thong
Island and the second highest at 15.8 m (51.8 ft) at Ban Nam Kim.[85]

Thai navy boat 813 (police boat) stranded almost 2 km inland by the Khao Lak
Khao Lak
tsunami.

At Phuket
Phuket
island, many of its west coast beaches were affected. At Patong Beach
Patong Beach
– a tourist mecca – the tsunami heights were 5–6 m (16.4 ft–19.7 ft) and the inundated depth was about 2 m (6.6 ft). The tsunami heights became lower from the west coast, the south coast to the east coast of the island. On Karon beach on the west coast, the coastal road was built higher than the shore and it acted as a seawall, protecting a hotel which was behind it. On the east coast of Phuket
Phuket
Island, which was not facing the tsunami source, the tsunami height was about 2 m (6.6 ft). In one river mouth, many boats were damaged. The tsunami propagated anticlockwise around Phuket
Phuket
Island, as was the case at Okushiri Island in the 1993 Hokkaido earthquake. According to some interviews with the people, the leading wave produced an initial depression and the second wave was the largest.[84]

Tsunami
Tsunami
wave striking Phuket
Phuket
coast.

The Phi Phi Islands
Phi Phi Islands
are a group of small islands that were affected by the tsunami. The north bay of Phi Phi Don Island opens to the northwest, thus it faced in the direction that the tsunami came from. The measured tsunami height on this beach was 5.8 m (19.02 ft). According to some eyewitnesses accounts, the tsunami came from the north and south, and totally washed the central area away. The ground level here was about 2 m (6.6 ft) above sea level, but there were many cottages and hotels. Therefore, the tsunami waves from the north and south destroyed the area, the south bay opens to the southeast. It faces in the opposite direction to which the tsunami was propagated. Further, Phi Phi Le Island shields the port of Phi Phi Don Island. The measured tsunami height, however, was 4.6 m (15.1 ft) in the port. It indicated that the tsunami propagated around the islands.[84] Many amateur videos recorded by tourists and locals of the tsunami at Thailand
Thailand
were televised popularly in the media. Mainland India The tsunami arrived in the states of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
and Tamil Nadu along the southeast coast of the Indian mainland shortly after 9:00 a.m. At least two hours later, it arrived in the state of Kerala
Kerala
along the southwest coast. Tamil Nadu, the union territory of Pondicherry
Pondicherry
and Kerala
Kerala
were extensively damaged, while Andhra Pradesh sustained moderate damage. There were two to five waves of varying height that coincided with the local high tide in some areas.[87][88][89][90]

Tsunami
Tsunami
destruction in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

The tsunami run-up was only 1.6 m (5.2 ft) in areas in the state of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
that were shielded by the island of Sri Lanka, but was 4–5 m (13.1 ft–16.4 ft) in coastal districts such as Nagapattinam
Nagapattinam
in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
that were directly across from Sumatra, which happen to be the highest on the Indian mainland. On the western coast, the runup elevations were 4.5 m (14.8 ft) at Kanyakumari District
Kanyakumari District
in Tamil Nadu, and 3.4 m (11.2 ft) each at Kollam
Kollam
and Ernakulam
Ernakulam
Districts in Kerala. The duration between the waves also varied from about 15 minutes to about 90 minutes.[87][89][91] Additionally, the tsunami varies in height when it struck the Indian coast, ranging from 2–10 m (6.6 ft–33 ft) on average based on survivor's accounts.[90] The tsunami runup height measured in mainland India
India
by Ministry of Home Affairs:[90]

3.4 m (11.2 ft) at Kerala, inundation distance of 0.5–1.5 km (0.31–0.62 miles) with 250 km (155.3 miles) of coastline affected. 4.5 m (14.8 ft) at southern coastline of Tamil Nadu, inundation distance of 0.2–2.0 km (0.12–1.24 miles) with 100 km (62.1 miles) of coast affected. 5 m (16.4 ft) at eastern coastline of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
facing tsunami source, inundation distance of 0.4–1.5 km (0.25–0.93 miles) with 800 km (497 miles) of coastline affected. 4 m (13.1 ft) at Pondicherry, inundation distance of 0.2–2.0 km (0.12–1.24 miles) with 25 km (15.5 miles) of coast affected. 2.2 m (7.22 ft) at Andhra Pradesh, inundation distance of 0.2–1.0 km (0.12–0.62 miles) with 985 km (612 miles) of coast.

The tsunami traveled 2.5 km (1.55 miles) at its maximum inland at Karaikal, Puducherry.[90] The inundation distance varied between 100–500 m (0.062 miles-0.311 miles) in most areas, except at river mouths, where it was more than 1 km (0.62 miles). The inundation distance varied with topology and vegetation. Areas with dense coconut groves or mangroves had much smaller inundation distances, and those with river mouths or backwaters saw much larger inundation distances.[citation needed]Presence of seawalls at the Kerala
Kerala
coast and some of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
coast helped to reduce the impact of the waves. However, when the seawalls were made of loose stones, the stones were displaced and carried a few metres inland.[87][89][91] The state of Kerala
Kerala
experienced tsunami-related damage in three southern districts, Ernakulam, Alappuzha, and Kollam, which are densely populated with villagers, due to diffraction of the waves around Sri Lanka. The southernmost district of Thiruvananthpuram, however, escaped damage, possibly due to the wide turn of the diffracted waves at the peninsular tip. Major damage occurred in two narrow strips of land bound on the west by the Arabian Sea
Arabian Sea
and on the east by a network of backwaters – Kerala
Kerala
backwaters. The waves receded before the first tsunami with the highest fatality reported from the densely populated Alappad panchayat (including the villages of Cheriya Azhikkal and Azhikkal) at Kollam
Kollam
district, caused by a 4 m (13.1 ft) tsunami.[90] The worst affected area in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
was Nagapattinam
Nagapattinam
district, with a reported 6,051 fatalities caused by a 5 m (16.4 ft) tsunami, followed by Cuddalore district, with many villages destroyed.[90] The 13 km (8.1 miles) Marina Beach
Beach
in Chennai
Chennai
was battered by the tsunami which swept across the beach taking morning walkers unaware. Besides that, a 10 m (33 ft) black muddy tsunami reportedly ravaged the city of Karaikal, where 492 lives were lost. The city of Pondicherry, protected by seawalls relatively escaped unscathed in comparison to other areas in the state.[90] At the same time, many villages from many districts at the state of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
were destroyed. In the Krishna district, the tsunami created havoc in Manginapudi and on Machalipattanam Beach, which came like a running wall at the latter. The most affected was Prakasham District, recording 35 deaths, with maximum damage at Singraikonda, a beautiful beach hamlet.[90] Given the enormous power of the tsunami, the fishing industry suffered the greatest. Moreover, the cost of damage in the transport sector was reported in the tens of thousands.[90] Many buildings and infrastructures near the coast were obliterated. Conclusively, the tsunami effects varied greatly across different parts of the coast according to the number of waves experienced, the inundation distance and height of waves, and the population density of the area, as well as topological and geographical features that made some areas more vulnerable than others. Besides these factors, the number of lives lost was influenced by exposure to previous disasters and the local disaster management capability. Most of the people killed were members of the fishing community and, in some cases such as Marina Beach
Beach
at Chennai
Chennai
and Velankanni in Nagapattinam, they were visitors on the beach.[90] Maldives The tsunami of 26 December 2004 severely affected the Maldives
Maldives
at a distance of 2,500 km (1553.4 miles) from the epicenter of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake. Identically to Sri Lanka, survivors reported three waves with the second wave being the most powerful.[80] Being rich in coral reefs, the Maldives
Maldives
provides an opportunity for scientists to assess the impact of a tsunami on coral atolls. The significantly lower tsunami impact on the Maldives
Maldives
compared to Sri Lanka is largely due to the topography and bathymetry of the atoll chain with offshore coral reefs, deep channels separating individual atolls and its arrival within low tide which decreased the power of the tsunami. After the tsunami, there were some concern that the country might be totally submerged and become uninhabitable. However, this was proven untrue.[92] The largest tsunami wave measured was 4 m (13.1 ft) at Vilufushi Island (Thaa Atoll). The tsunami arrived approximately 2 hours after the earthquake. The greatest tsunami inundation occurred at North Male Atoll, Male island at 250 m (0.155 miles) along the streets.[80] The Maldives
Maldives
tsunami wave analysis:[80]

1.3 m-2.4 m (4.27 ft–7.87 ft) at North Male Atoll, Male Island. 2 m (6.56 ft) at North Male Atoll, Huhule Island. 1.7 m-2.8 m (5.58 ft–9.2 ft) at South Male Atoll, Embudhu Finothu. 2.5 m-3.3 m (8.2 ft–10.8 ft) at Laamu Atoll, Fonadhoo Island. 2.2 m-2.9 m (7.2 ft–9.51 ft) at Laamu Atoll, Gan Island. 2.3 m-3 m (7.5 ft–9.8 ft) at North Male Atoll, Dhiffushi Island. 2.2 m-2.4 m (7.2 ft–7.87 ft) at North Male Atoll, Huraa Island. more than 1.5 m (4.92 ft) at North Male Atoll, Kuda Huraa Island.

Myanmar In Myanmar, the tsunami caused only moderate damage, which arrived between 2 and 5.5 hours after the earthquake. Although the country's western Andaman Sea
Andaman Sea
coastline lies at the proximity of the rupture zone, there were smaller tsunamis than the neighboring Thai coast, probably because the main tsunami source did not extend to the Andaman Islands. Another factor is that some coasts of Taninthayi Division
Taninthayi Division
was protected by offshore islands of the Myeik Archipelago. Based on scientific surveys from Ayeyarwaddy Delta through Taninthayi Division, it is revealed that tsunami heights along the Myanmar
Myanmar
coast were between 0.4–2.9 m (1.3–9.5 ft). Eyewitnesses often compared the December tsunami heights with the “rainy season high tide”; although at most locations, the tsunami height was similar or smaller than the “rainy season high tide” level.[93] Tsunami
Tsunami
survey heights:

0.6 m-2.3 m (1.97 ft–7.54 ft) around the Ayeyarwady delta. 0.9 m-2.9 m (2.95 ft–9.5 ft) at Dawei
Dawei
area. 0.7 m-2.2 m (2.3 ft–7.2 ft) around Myeik. 0.4 m-2.6 m (1.3 ft–8.5 ft) around Kawthaung.

Interviews with local people indicate that they did not feel the earthquake in Taninthayi Division
Taninthayi Division
or in Ayeyarwaddy Delta. The 71 casualties can be attributed to poor housing infrastructure and additionally, the fact that the coastal residents in the surveyed areas live on flat land along the coast, especially in the Ayeyarwaddy Delta, and that there is no higher ground to evacuate. The tsunami heights from the 2004 December earthquake were not more than 3 m (9.8 ft) along the Myanmar
Myanmar
coast, the amplitudes are slightly large off the Ayeyarwaddy Delta, probably because the shallow delta cause a concentration in tsunami energy.[93] Somalia The tsunami spawned from the megathrust earthquake near Sumatra travelled 5000 km (3106.86 miles) west across the open ocean before striking the East African country of Somalia. Around 289 fatalities were reported in the Horn of Africa, drowned by four tsunami waves. The hardest hit was a 650 km (403.9 miles) stretch of the Somalia
Somalia
coastline between Garacad ( Mudug
Mudug
region) and Xaafuun ( Bari
Bari
region), which forms part of the Puntland
Puntland
Province. Most of the victims were reported along the low-lying Xaafuun Peninsula.[94] The Puntland
Puntland
coast in northern Somalia
Somalia
was by far the area hardest hit by the waves to the west of the Indian subcontinent. The waves arrived around noon local time.[94] Consequently, tsunami runup heights vary from 5 m (16.4 ft) to 9 m (29.5 ft) with inundation distances varying from 44 m (0.027 miles) to 704 m (0.44 miles). The maximum runup height of almost 9 m (29.5 ft) was recorded in Bandarbeyla. An even higher runup point was measured on a cliff near the town of Eyl, solely on an eyewitness account. The highest death toll was in Xaafuun, also known as Hafun, with 19 bodies and 160 people presumed missing out of its 5000 inhabitants, which amounts to the highest number of casualties in a single African town and the largest tsunami death toll in a single town to the west of the Indian subcontinent. In Xaafuun, small drawbacks were observed before the third and most powerful tsunami flood the town.[94] Numerous fishing boats and buildings were also devastated. Elsewhere in the Indian Ocean The tsunami also reached Malaysia, mainly on the northern states such as Kedah, Perak
Perak
and Penang
Penang
and on offshore islands such as Langkawi island. Peninsular Malaysia
Malaysia
was shielded by the full force of the tsunami due to the protection offered by the island of Sumatra, which lies just off the western coast.[95]

Tsunami
Tsunami
flooding the streets of Tanjung Tokong, George Town, Penang.

In Bangladesh, located on the northern Bay of Bengal
Bay of Bengal
escaped major damage and deaths because the water displaced by the strike-slip fault was relatively little on the northern section of the rupture zone, which ruptured slowly. In Yemen, the tsunami killed 2 people with a maximum runup of 2 m (6.6 ft).[96] The tsunami's immense power was even detected as far away as Africa, where rough seas were reported, specifically on the eastern and southern coasts that faces the Indian Ocean. Countries apart from Somalia
Somalia
that were majorly affected with deaths include South Africa (the furthest)- 2, Kenya- 1, The Seychelles- 3 and Tanzania- 10.[97][98] Tidal surges also occurred along the Western Australian
Western Australian
coast that lasted for several hours, resulting in boats losing their moorings and two people needing to be rescued.[99] Death toll and casualties

Chennai's Marina Beach
Beach
after the tsunami.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Geological Survey
a total of 227,898 people died (see table below for details).[1] Measured in lives lost, this is one of the ten worst earthquakes in recorded history, as well as the single worst tsunami in history. Indonesia
Indonesia
was the worst affected area, with most death toll estimates at around 170,000.[100] However, another report by Siti Fadilah Supari, the Indonesian Minister of Health at the time, estimated the death total to be as high as 220,000 in Indonesia
Indonesia
alone, giving a total of 280,000 fatalities.[8] The tsunami caused serious damage and deaths as far as the east coast of Africa, with the farthest recorded death due to the tsunami occurring at Rooi Els in South Africa, 8,000 km (5,000 mi) away from the epicentre. In total, eight people in South Africa
South Africa
died due to abnormally high sea levels and waves. Relief agencies reported that one-third of the dead appeared to be children. This was a result of the high proportion of children in the populations of many of the affected regions and because children were the least able to resist being overcome by the surging waters. Oxfam went on to report that as many as four times more women than men were killed in some regions because they were waiting on the beach for the fishermen to return and looking after their children in the houses.[101] In addition to the large number of local residents, up to 9,000 foreign tourists (mostly Europeans) enjoying the peak holiday travel season were among the dead or missing, especially people from the Nordic countries. The European nation hardest hit may have been Sweden, whose death toll was 543. Germany
Germany
was close behind with 539 identified victims. Among the international victims were a Thai prince, and a number of relatively well known musicians and sports players.

Patong Beach, Thailand, after the tsunami

States of emergency were declared in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and the Maldives. The United Nations estimated at the outset that the relief operation would be the costliest in human history. Then-UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan
stated that reconstruction would probably take between five and ten years. Governments and non-governmental organisations feared that the final death toll might double as a result of diseases, prompting a massive humanitarian response. In the end, this fear did not materialise. For purposes of establishing timelines of local events, the time zones of affected areas are: UTC+3: (Kenya, Madagascar, Somalia, Tanzania); UTC+4: (Mauritius, Réunion, Seychelles); UTC+5: (Maldives); UTC+5:30: (India, Sri Lanka); UTC+6: (Bangladesh); UTC+6:30: (Cocos Islands, Myanmar); UTC+7: ( Indonesia
Indonesia
(western), Thailand); UTC+8: (Malaysia, Singapore). Since the earthquake occurred at 00:58:53 UTC, add the above offsets to find the local time of the earthquake.

Country where deaths occurred Confirmed Estimated1 Injured Missing Displaced

Indonesia 7005130736000000000♠130,736 7005167799000000000♠167,799 n/a 7004370630000000000♠37,063 7005500000000000000♠500,000+[102]

Sri Lanka2 7004353220000000000♠35,322[103] 7004353220000000000♠35,322 7004214110000000000♠21,411[103] n/a 7005516150000000000♠516,150[103]

India 7004124050000000000♠12,405 7004180450000000000♠18,045 n/a 7003564000000000000♠5,640 7005647599000000000♠647,599

Thailand 7003539500000000000♠5,3953[104] 7003821200000000000♠8,212 7003845700000000000♠8,457[105] 7003281700000000000♠2,817[104] 7003700000000000000♠7,000

Somalia 7001780000000000000♠78 7002289000000000000♠289[106] n/a n/a 7003500000000000000♠5,000[107]

Myanmar 7001610000000000000♠61 7002400000000000000♠400–600[108] 7001450000000000000♠45 7002200000000000000♠200[109] 7003320000000000000♠3,200

Maldives 7001820000000000000♠82[110] 7002108000000000000♠108[111] n/a 7001260000000000000♠26 7004150000000000000♠15,000+

Malaysia 7001680000000000000♠68[112] 7001750000000000000♠75 7002299000000000000♠299[113] 7000600000000000000♠6 7003500000000000000♠5,000+

Tanzania 7001100000000000000♠10[114] 7001130000000000000♠13 n/a n/a n/a

Seychelles 7000300000000000000♠3[115] 7000300000000000000♠3 7001570000000000000♠57[115] n/a 7002200000000000000♠200[116]

Bangladesh 7000200000000000000♠2 7000200000000000000♠2 n/a n/a n/a

South Africa 7000200000000000000♠24[117] 7000200000000000000♠2 n/a n/a n/a

Yemen 7000200000000000000♠2[118] 7000200000000000000♠2 n/a n/a n/a

Kenya 7000100000000000000♠1 7000100000000000000♠1 7000200000000000000♠2 n/a n/a

Madagascar n/a n/a n/a n/a 7003100000000000000♠1,000+[119]

Total ~184,167 ~230,273 ~125,000 ~45,752 ~1.74 million

1 Includes those reported under 'Confirmed'. If no separate estimates are available, the number in this column is the same as reported under 'Confirmed'. 2 Does not include approximately 19,000 missing people initially declared by Tamil Tiger authorities from regions under their control. 3 Data includes at least 2,464 foreigners. 4 Does not include South African citizens who died outside of South Africa
Africa
(e.g., tourists in Thailand). For more information on those deaths, see Countries affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
earthquake#S - Z

Countries affected

Countries most affected by the tsunami, with the earthquake's epicenter.

Main article: Countries affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
earthquake The earthquake and resulting tsunami affected many countries in Southeast Asia and beyond, including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, the Maldives, Somalia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Seychelles
Seychelles
and others. Many other countries, especially in Europe, had large numbers of citizens traveling in the region on holiday. Sweden
Sweden
lost 543 citizens in the disaster, while Germany
Germany
had 539 identified victims. Event in historical context See also: Library damage resulting from the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake

2004

1833

2005

1861

2007

1797

As of the present, six of the Top Ten strongest Indonesian earthquakes ≥ 8.3 Mw occurred near Sumatra.

The last major tsunami in the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
was about A.D. 1400.[120][121] In 2008, a team of scientists working on Phra Thong, a barrier island along the hard-hit west coast of Thailand, reported evidence of at least three previous major tsunamis in the preceding 2,800 years, the most recent from about 700 years ago. A second team found similar evidence of previous tsunamis in Aceh, a province at the northern tip of Sumatra; radiocarbon dating of bark fragments in soil below the second sand layer led the scientists to estimate that the most recent predecessor to the 2004 tsunami probably occurred between A.D. 1300 and 1450.[122] The 2004 earthquake and tsunami combined are the world's deadliest natural disaster since the 1976 Tangshan earthquake. The earthquake was the third most powerful earthquake recorded since 1900. The deadliest known earthquake in history occurred in 1556 in Shaanxi, China, with an estimated death toll of 830,000, though figures from this period may not be as reliable.[123] The 2004 tsunami is the deadliest in recorded history. Before 2004, the tsunami created in both Indian and Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
waters by the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, thought to have resulted in anywhere from 36,000 to 120,000 deaths, had probably been the deadliest in the region. In 1782 about 40,000 people are thought to have been killed by a tsunami (or a cyclone) in the South China Sea.[124] The most deadly tsunami before 2004 was Italy's 1908 Messina earthquake
1908 Messina earthquake
on the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
where the earthquake and tsunami killed about 123,000.[125] Humanitarian response Main article: Humanitarian response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake

German tsunami relief mission team members of AGSEP visiting tsunami-hit Mullaitivu
Mullaitivu
in Northern Province, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
in January 2005

Memorial dedicated to victims of the tsunami, Batticaloa, Eastern Province, Sri Lanka

A great deal of humanitarian aid was needed because of widespread damage of the infrastructure, shortages of food and water, and economic damage. Epidemics were of special concern due to the high population density and tropical climate of the affected areas. The main concern of humanitarian and government agencies was to provide sanitation facilities and fresh drinking water to contain the spread of diseases such as cholera, diphtheria, dysentery, typhoid and hepatitis A and B. There was also a great concern that the death toll could increase as disease and hunger spread. However, because of the initial quick response, this was minimized.[126] In the days following the tsunami, significant effort was spent in burying bodies hurriedly due to fear of disease spreading. However, the public health risks may have been exaggerated, and therefore this may not have been the best way to allocate resources. The World Food Programme provided food aid to more than 1.3 million people affected by the tsunami.[127] Further information: Health risks from dead bodies Nations all over the world provided over US$14 billion in aid for damaged regions,[128] with the governments of Australia pledging US$819.9 million (including a US$760.6-million aid package for Indonesia), Germany
Germany
offering US$660 million, Japan offering US$500 million, Canada offering US$343 million, Norway and the Netherlands offering both US$183 million, the United States offering US$35 million initially (increased to US$350 million), and the World Bank
World Bank
offering US$250 million. Also Italy offered US$95 million, increased later to US$113 million of which US$42 million was donated by the population using the SMS system[129] According to USAID, the US has pledged additional funds in long-term U.S. support to help the tsunami victims rebuild their lives. On 9 February 2005, President Bush asked Congress to increase the U.S. commitment to a total of US$950 million. Officials estimated that billions of dollars would be needed. Bush also asked his father, former President George H. W. Bush, and former President Bill Clinton to lead a U.S. effort to provide private aid to the tsunami victims.[130] In mid-March the Asian Development Bank
Asian Development Bank
reported that over US$4 billion in aid promised by governments was behind schedule. Sri Lanka reported that it had received no foreign government aid, while foreign individuals had been generous.[131] Many charities were given considerable donations from the public. For example, in the United Kingdom the public donated roughly £330,000,000 sterling (nearly US$600,000,000). This considerably outweighed the donation by the government and came to an average of about £5.50 (US$10) donated by every citizen. In August 2006, fifteen local aid staff working on post-tsunami rebuilding were found executed in northeast Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
after heavy fighting, the main umbrella body for aid agencies in the country said. There had been reports and rumors that the local aid workers had been killed. Impact Economic impacts The level of damage to the economy resulting from the tsunami depends on the scale examined. While local economies were devastated, the overall impact to the national economies was minor. The two main occupations affected by the tsunami were fishing and tourism.[132] The impact on coastal fishing communities and the people living there, some of the poorest in the region, has been devastating with high losses of income earners as well as boats and fishing gear.[133] In Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
artisanal fishery, where the use of fish baskets, fishing traps, and spears are commonly used, is an important source of fish for local markets; industrial fishery is the major economic activity, providing direct employment to about 250,000 people. In recent years the fishery industry has emerged as a dynamic export-oriented sector, generating substantial foreign exchange earnings. Preliminary estimates indicate that 66% of the fishing fleet and industrial infrastructure in coastal regions have been destroyed by the wave surges, which will have adverse economic effects both at local and national levels.[134] While the tsunami destroyed many of the boats vital to Sri Lanka's fishing industry, it also created demand for fiberglass reinforced plastic catamarans in boatyards of Tamil Nadu. Since over 51,000 vessels were lost to the tsunami, the industry boomed. However, the huge demand has led to lower quality in the process, and some important materials were sacrificed to cut prices for those who were impoverished by the tsunami.[135] But some economists believe that damage to the affected national economies will be minor because losses in the tourism and fishing industries are a relatively small percentage of the GDP. However, others caution that damage to infrastructure is an overriding factor. In some areas drinking water supplies and farm fields may have been contaminated for years by salt water from the ocean.[136] Even though only coastal regions were directly affected by the waters of the tsunami, the indirect effects have spread to inland provinces as well. Since the media coverage of the event was so extensive, many tourists cancelled vacations and trips to that part of the world, even though their travel destinations may not have been affected. This ripple effect could especially be felt in the inland provinces of Thailand, such as Krabi, which acted like a starting point for many other tourist destinations in Thailand.[137] Both the earthquake and the tsunami may have affected shipping in the Malacca Straits, which separate Malaysia
Malaysia
and the Indonesian island of Sumatra, by changing the depth of the seabed and by disturbing navigational buoys and old shipwrecks. In one area of the Strait, water depths were previously up to 4,000 feet (1,200 m), and are now only 100 feet (30 m) in some areas, making shipping impossible and dangerous. These problems also made the delivery of relief aid more challenging. Compiling new navigational charts may take months or years. However, officials hope that piracy in the region will drop off as a result of the tsunami.[138] Countries in the region appealed to tourists to return, pointing out that most tourist infrastructure is undamaged. However, tourists were reluctant to do so for psychological reasons. Even beach resorts in parts of Thailand
Thailand
which were completely untouched by the tsunami were hit by cancellations.[139] Environmental impact

Tsunami
Tsunami
inundation, Khao Lak, North of Phuket, Thailand
Thailand
ASTER Images and SRTM Elevation Model.

Beyond the heavy toll on human lives, the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
earthquake has caused an enormous environmental impact that will affect the region for many years to come. It has been reported that severe damage has been inflicted on ecosystems such as mangroves, coral reefs, forests, coastal wetlands, vegetation, sand dunes and rock formations, animal and plant biodiversity and groundwater. In addition, the spread of solid and liquid waste and industrial chemicals, water pollution and the destruction of sewage collectors and treatment plants threaten the environment even further, in untold ways. The environmental impact will take a long time and significant resources to assess.[140] According to specialists, the main effect is being caused by poisoning of the freshwater supplies and of the soil by saltwater infiltration and a deposit of a salt layer over arable land. It has been reported that in the Maldives, 16 to 17 coral reef atolls that were overcome by sea waves are completely without fresh water and could be rendered uninhabitable for decades. Uncountable wells that served communities were invaded by sea, sand, and earth; and aquifers were invaded through porous rock. Salted-over soil becomes sterile, and it is difficult and costly to restore for agriculture. It also causes the death of plants and important soil micro-organisms. Thousands of rice, mango, and banana plantations in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
were destroyed almost entirely and will take years to recover. On the island's east coast, the tsunami contaminated wells on which many villagers relied for drinking water. The Colombo-based International Water Management Institute monitored the effects of saltwater and concluded that the wells recovered to pre-tsunami drinking water quality one and a half years after the event.[141] IWMI
IWMI
developed protocols for cleaning wells contaminated by saltwater; these were subsequently officially endorsed by the World Health Organization
World Health Organization
as part of its series of Emergency Guidelines.[142] The United Nations Environment Programme
United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP) is working with governments of the region in order to determine the severity of the ecological impact and how to address it.[needs update][143] UNEP has decided to earmark a US$1,000,000 emergency fund and to establish a Task Force to respond to requests for technical assistance from countries affected by the tsunami.[144] In response to a request from the Maldivian Government, the Australian Government sent ecological experts to help restore marine environments and coral reefs—the lifeblood of Maldivian tourism. Much of the ecological expertise has been rendered from work with the Great Barrier Reef, in Australia's northeastern waters. Other effects

Tsunami
Tsunami
aftermath in Aceh, Indonesia

Psychological trauma

Many health professionals and aid workers have reported widespread psychological trauma associated with the tsunami. Traditional beliefs in many of the affected regions state that a relative of the family must bury the body of the dead, and in many cases, no body remained to be buried. Women in Aceh
Aceh
required a special approach from foreign aid agencies, and continue to have unique needs.

Conflicts and a cease-fire

The hardest hit area, Aceh, is considered to be a religiously conservative Islamic society and has had no tourism nor any Western presence in recent years due to armed conflict between the Indonesian military and Acehnese separatists. Some believe that the tsunami was divine punishment for lay Muslims shirking their daily prayers and/or following a materialistic lifestyle. Others have said that Allah
Allah
was angry that there were Muslims killing other Muslims in an ongoing conflict.[145] Saudi cleric Muhammad Al-Munajjid attributed it to divine retribution against non-Muslim vacationers "who used to sprawl all over the beaches and in pubs overflowing with wine" during Christmas break.[146] The widespread devastation caused by the tsunami led the main rebel group GAM to declare a cease-fire on 28 December 2004 followed by the Indonesian government, and the two groups resumed long-stalled peace talks, which resulted in a peace agreement signed 15 August 2005. The agreement explicitly cites the tsunami as a justification.[147]

Media coverage

In a poll conducted in 27 countries by GlobeScan
GlobeScan
for BBC World Service, 15 percent of respondents named the tsunami the most significant event of the year. Only the Iraq War
Iraq War
was named by as many respondents.[148] The extensive international media coverage of the tsunami, and the role of mass media and journalists in reconstruction, were discussed by editors of newspapers and broadcast media in tsunami-affected areas, in special video-conferences set up by the Asia Pacific Journalism Centre.[149]

Fraud, false alarms, and panic

The 26 December 2004 Asian tsunami left both the people and government of India
India
in a state of heightened alert. On 30 December 2004, four days after the tsunami, the Portland, Oregon-based company Terra Research notified the India
India
government that its sensors indicated there was a possibility of 7.9 to 8.1 magnitude tectonic shift in the next 12 hours between Sumatra
Sumatra
and New Zealand.[150] In response, the India
India
Home Affairs minister announced that a fresh onslaught of deadly tsunami were likely along the India
India
southern coast and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, even as there was no sign of turbulence in the region.[150] The announcement generated panic in the Indian Ocean region and caused thousands to flee their homes, which resulted in jammed roads.[151] The announcement was a false alarm and the Home Affairs minister withdrew their announcement.[151] On further investigation, the India
India
government learned that the consulting company Terra Research was run from the home of a self-described earthquake forecaster who had no telephone listing and maintained a website where he sold copies of his detection system.[152] Three days after the announcement, Indian National Congress
Indian National Congress
president Sonia Gandhi called Science & Technology minister Kapil Sibal
Kapil Sibal
to express her concern about Sibal's 30 December public warning being "hogwash".[153]

Impact on Sweden

The tsunami had a severe humanitarian and political impact in Sweden. The hardest hit country outside Asia, 543 Swedish tourists, mainly in Thailand, died. With no single incident having killed more Swedish people since the battle of Poltava in 1709, the cabinet of Göran Persson was heavily criticized for lack of action.

Tsunami
Tsunami
warning system

Smith Dharmasaroja, a meteorologist who predicted the tsunami before it hit, was assigned the development of the Thai tsunami warning system. The Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Tsunami
Tsunami
warning system was formed in early 2005 immediately after the tragedy of 26 December 2004 to provide an early warning of tsunamis for inhabitants around the Indian Ocean coasts.[154]

Effect on the Earth

The changes in the distribution of masses inside the Earth
Earth
due to the earthquake had several consequences. It displaced the North Pole by 2.5 cm. It also slightly changed the shape of the Earth, specifically by decreasing Earth's oblateness by about one part in 10 billion, consequentially increasing Earth's rotation
Earth's rotation
a little and thus shortening the length of the day by 2.68 microseconds.[155] In popular culture Apung 1

Apung 1, a 2,600-ton ship, was flung some 2–3 km inland by the tsunami, and has become a popular tourist attraction in Banda Aceh

Films and television

Children of Tsunami: No More Tears (2005), a 24-minute documentary film, and its full-length follow-up Children of Tsunami: The Journey Continues. Hafalan Shalat Delisa (2011), an Indonesian movie. Tsunami: The Aftermath (2006), a two-part television miniseries about its after-effects. The Impossible (2012), an English-language Spanish film based on the story of María Belón and her family. Dasavathaaram
Dasavathaaram
(2008), a Tamil disaster film which culminates with 2004 tsunami. Kayal (2014), a Tamil drama film which culminates with the 2004 tsunami. The Wave
Wave
That Shook The World (2005), a PBS NOVA educational television-series documentary about the 2004 tsunami. Hereafter (2010), a main character's life is affected after surviving the tsunami while on vacation. Tsunami: Caught on Camera (2009), a minute-by-minute account of the 2004 tsunami told through amateur video footage of witnesses from Indonesia, Thailand
Thailand
and Sri Lanka. Naked Science: Tsunami
Tsunami
Warning (2009), an episode of an American documentary television series that premiered in 2004 on the National Geographic Channel with the episode dedicated to the events of 26 December 2004 and implications of a worldwide tsunami warning system.

Literature

The Killing Sea, a 2006 novel by Richard Lewis, tells the story of two teenagers- a tourist and a local- as they struggle to survive in the days after the tsunami. Wave, a memoir by Sonali Daraniyagala, details the impact of the tsunami on Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
and the Indian subcontinent.

Museum

Aceh
Aceh
Tsunami
Tsunami
Museum, located in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, was designed as a symbolic reminder of the 2004 Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
earthquake and tsunami disaster, as well as an educational center and an emergency disaster shelter in case the area is ever hit by a tsunami again.

Rediscovery of Mahabalipuram

Another result of the tsunami, respective of Indian culture, was the water that washed away centuries of sand from some of the ruins of a 1,200-year-old lost city at Mahabalipuram
Mahabalipuram
on the south coast of India. The site, containing such notable structures as a half-buried granite lion near a 7th-century Mahablipuram temple and a relic depicting an elephant, is part of what archaeologists believe to be an ancient port city that was swallowed by the sea hundreds of years ago.[156][157]

Music

The song "12/26" by Kimya Dawson
Kimya Dawson
was written about the event and the humanitarian efforts by other countries afterward, from the perspective of a victim whose whole family died in the disaster.

See also

Disasters portal Indonesia
Indonesia
portal India
India
portal Thailand
Thailand
portal Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
portal 2000s portal

2006 Pangandaran earthquake and tsunami 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami Aid Still Required Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Tsunami
Tsunami
Warning System List of earthquakes in 2004 List of earthquakes in Indonesia Megatsunami Pornthip Rojanasunand, a prominent Thai doctor who took charge of identifying the bodies Seismotectonics Tsunami
Tsunami
Evaluation Coalition

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Surges on Dry Coastal Plains: Application of Dam Break Wave Equations, Coastal Engineering Journal, 48 4: 355–370 The 26 December 2004 Tsunami: a Hydraulic Engineering Phenomenon of International Significance. First Comments, Journal La Houille Blanche, No. 2, pp. 25–32 The 2004 Indian Ocean
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& IFRC 2004 Indian Ocean
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earthquake and tsunami in the Newseum
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archive of front page images from 2004-12-27. Satellite images of tsunami-affected areas – National University of Singapore Asian Tsunami
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Anniversary – Thailand
Thailand
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Then and Now Comparison Series – Zoriah Miller Recovering a future: Rebuilding lives after the tsunami – British Red Cross The 26 December 2004, Sumatra
Sumatra
Earthquake and Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Tsunami: Field Perspectives on the Impacts to the Peoples, Cultures, Politics, and Economies of One of the World's Most Vibrant Regions, Speaker: Tom Casadevall, 26 September 2006. Sponsored by The Center for Global Studies and Center for Advanced Study, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The International Seismological Centre has a bibliography and authoritative data for this event. ReliefWeb
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v t e

← Earthquakes in 2004 →

Al Hoceima (6.3, Feb 24) † Baladeh (6.3, May 28) † Chūetsu (6.8, Oct 23) † Les Saintes (6.3, Nov 21) Nabire (7.1, Nov 26) † Sumatra–Andaman (9.1–9.3, Dec 26) † ‡

† indicates earthquake resulting in at least 30 deaths ‡ indicates the deadliest earthquake of the year

v t e

Earthquakes in India

Historical

1505 Lo Mustang 1819 Rann of Kutch 1869 Cachar 1881 Nicobar Islands 1897 Assam

20th century

1905 Kangra 1930 Dhubri 1934 Nepal–Bihar 1935 Quetta 1941 Andaman Islands 1947 Assam 1950 Assam–Tibet 1956 Anjar 1967 Koynanagar 1975 Kinnaur 1988 Nepal 1991 Uttarkashi 1993 Latur 1997 Jabalpur 1997 Chittagong 1999 Chamoli

21st century

2001 Gujarat 2004 Indian Ocean 2005 Kashmir 2009 Andaman Islands 2011 Sikkim April 2015 Nepal May 2015 October 2015 Hindu Kush 2016 Imphal 2017 Tripura 2017 Uttarakhand

Related topics

Earthquake zones of India Geology of the Himalaya

v t e

Earthquakes in Indonesia

Historical

1629 Banda Sea 1797 Sumatra 1833 Sumatra 1861 Sumatra 1899 Ceram

20th century

1917 Bali 1931 Southwest Sumatra 1935 Sumatra 1938 Banda Sea 1943 Alahan Panjang 1943 Central Java 1965 Ceram Sea 1968 Sulawesi 1976 Papua 1976 Bali 1977 Sumba 1979 Bali 1981 Irian Jaya 1982 Flores 1984 Northern Sumatra 1989 West Papua 1991 Kalabahi 1992 Flores 1994 Liwa 1994 Java 1996 Biak 2000 Enggano

21st century

2002 Sumatra 2004 Nabire 2004 Indian Ocean 2005 Nias–Simeulue 2006 Banda Sea 2006 Yogyakarta 2006 Pangandaran March 2007 Sumatra September 2007 Sumatra 2008 Sulawesi 2009 Papua 2009 Talaud Islands August 2009 Sumatra 2009 West Java September 2009 Sumatra April 2010 Sumatra May 2010 Northern Sumatra 2010 Papua 2010 Mentawai 2011 Aceh
Aceh
Singkil Regency 2012 Indian Ocean 2013 Aceh 2016 Mentawai 2016 Aceh 2017 Java

Related topics

Sunda Trench Great Sumatran fault Sunda megathrust Geology of the Sumatra
Sumatra
Trench

v t e

Natural disasters in India

Floods and flash floods

2000 India- Bangladesh
Bangladesh
floods Gohna Lake dam-burst Maharashtra floods of 2005 Ladakh floods North Indian floods 2007 North Indian floods 2013 2014 India–Pakistan floods June 2015 Gujarat flood July 2015 Gujarat flood 2015 South Indian floods 2017 Gujarat flood

Landslides

Amarnath Yatra tragedy Mumbai landslide Karanjadi train crash Malin landslide Malpa landslide Vaibhavwadi train crash

Tsunamis

2004 Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
earthquake and tsunami (effect on India)

Storms

General

North Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
tropical cyclone

Specific

1977 Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
cyclone 2010 Eastern Indian storm

Others

National Disaster Response Force Effects of global war

.