Indian Ocean earthquake occurred at 00:58:53
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 was subducted by the
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 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. It caused the entire planet to vibrate as much as
1 centimetre (0.4 inches) and triggered other earthquakes as far
away as Alaska. Its epicentre was between
Simeulue and mainland
Indonesia. 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. The event is known by the scientific community as the
Sumatra–Andaman earthquake. The resulting tsunami was given
various names, including the 2004
Indian Ocean tsunami, South Asian
tsunami, Indonesian tsunami, Christmas tsunami and the Boxing Day
1 Earthquake characteristics
1.2 Tectonic plates
1.3 Aftershocks and other earthquakes
1.4 Energy released
2.1 Signs and warnings
Aceh province, Sumatra, Indonesia
2.3 Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India
2.4 Sri Lanka
2.6 Mainland India
2.10 Elsewhere in the Indian Ocean
Death toll and casualties
3.1 Countries affected
3.2 Event in historical context
4 Humanitarian response
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
6.5 Rediscovery of Mahabalipuram
7 See also
9 External links
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
The earthquake was initially documented as moment magnitude 8.8. In
February 2005 scientists revised the estimate of the magnitude to
9.0. Although the Pacific
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.
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 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 ruptured
over a length of 1,300 km (810 mi). The earthquake
(followed by the tsunami) was felt in Bangladesh, India, Malaysia,
Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore,
Sri Lanka and the Maldives. 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.
The epicenter of the 2004
Indian Ocean earthquake and associated
aftershocks in French.
The epicentre of the earthquake, just north of
Indonesia lies between the Pacific
Ring of Fire
Ring of Fire along the
north-eastern islands adjacent to New Guinea, and the
Alpide belt that
runs along the south and west from Sumatra, Java, Bali,
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)
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
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) 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 and South
American Plate); 1812 (Venezuela,
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.
Sumatra earthquake is believed to have been a foreshock,
predating the main event by over two years.
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 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 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).
Indian Plate is part of the great Indo-Australian Plate, which
Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal, and is drifting
north-east at an average of 6 centimetres per year (2.4 inches per
India Plate meets the
Burma Plate (which is considered a
portion of the great Eurasian Plate) at the Sunda Trench. At this
India Plate subducts beneath the Burma Plate, which carries
the Nicobar Islands, the Andaman Islands, and northern Sumatra. The
India Plate sinks deeper and deeper beneath the
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 subducts the
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).
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 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. 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. 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.
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. However, the U.S.
Geological Survey sees no evidence of a causal relationship between
The December earthquake is thought to have triggered activity in both
Leuser Mountain and Mount Talang, volcanoes in
along the same range of peaks, while the 2005 Nias–Simeulue
earthquake had sparked activity in Lake Toba, an ancient crater in
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 earthquake and
tsunami was estimated at 1.1×1017 joules, 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), the
vast majority underground, which is over 360,000 times more than its
ME, equivalent to 9,600 gigatons of
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.
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.
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 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
Vertical-component ground motions recorded by the IRIS/USGS Global
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. It also caused the
Earth to minutely "wobble" on its axis
by up to 2.5 cm (1 in) in the direction of 145° east
longitude, or perhaps by up to 5 or 6 cm (2.0 or
2.4 in). 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
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). Since movement
was vertical as well as lateral, some coastal areas may have been
moved to below sea level. The Andaman and
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).
In February 2005, the
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.
Jason-1 satellites happened to pass over the
tsunami as it was crossing the ocean. 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. 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.
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 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.
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
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.
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
According to Tad Murty, vice-president of the
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.
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 was hit by the
tsunami despite being on the western coast of India, and the western
Sri Lanka suffered substantial impacts. Distance alone was no
guarantee of safety, as
Somalia was hit harder than
being much farther away.
Because of the distances involved, the tsunami took anywhere from
fifteen minutes to seven hours to reach the coastlines. The
northern regions of the Indonesian island of
Sumatra were hit very
Sri Lanka and the east coast of
India were hit roughly
90 minutes to two hours later.
Thailand was struck about two
hours later despite being closer to the epicentre, because the tsunami
traveled more slowly in the shallow
Andaman Sea off its western coast.
The tsunami was noticed as far as
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 at the southernmost point
of Africa, probably because of the broad continental shelf off South
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 recorded oscillations of up to a
metre (3 ft 3 in), with disturbances lasting a couple of
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). 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.
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
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 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
Ring of Fire
Ring of Fire extends into the
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 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 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 province, Phuket
Khao Lak area in Thailand,
Penang island of
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.
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
Maldives were caught off guard by violent, swirling underwater
currents. The divers described the experience like being in a 'washing
Coral reef animals such as fish were also absent as the
tsunami passed by.
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. On
Maikhao beach in northern Phuket, Thailand, a 10-year-old British
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. 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
Andaman Islands to be badly affected by the tsunami and even
feared the already depopulated Onge tribe could have been wiped
out. Many of the aboriginal tribes evacuated and suffered fewer
casualties. 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 seemed
to have survived the tsunami.
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,
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. 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 stated that the wave was 'higher than my
house'. 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.
The maximum runup height of the tsunami was measured at a hill between
Lhoknga and Leupung, located on the west coast of the northern tip of
Sumatra, near Banda Aceh, and reached more than 30 m
The tsunami heights in Sumatra:
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
6 m (19.7 ft) on the Krueng Raya coast (3 oil tanks floated
5 m (16.4 ft) on the
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 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
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
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
In Lhoknga, a town in
Aceh Besar Regency,
Indonesia, located on the western side of the island of Sumatra,
13 km (8.08 miles) southwest of Banda
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'.
Consequently, the tsunami also stranded cargo ships and barges and
destroyed a cement factory near the Lampuuk coast.
Moreover, surveyed areas by scientists show runup heights over
20 m (65.6 ft) on the northwest coast of
Sumatra in the Aceh
province with a maximum runup of 51 m (167.3 ft).
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).
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 province. Another factor is subsidence at Banda
Aceh (20–60 cm), Peukan Bada (>20 cm), Lhok Nga and
Leupung (>1.5 m).
An overturned cement carrier, the Sinar Andalas caused by the tsunami
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 minutes after
the earthquake, and it caused extensive devastation to the islands'
environment. Specifically, the
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).
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
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.
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.
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. 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 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. In Chuckchucha and Lapati, the tsunami arrived in a three
wave cycle with a maximum tsunami wave height of 12 m
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
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.
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
Reports of tsunami wave height:
1.5 m (4.9 ft) at Diglipur and Rangat at North Andaman
8 m (26.2 ft) high at Campbell Bay (in Great Nicobar
10–12 m (32.8 ft–39.4 ft) high at Malacca (in Car
Nicobar Island) and at
Hut Bay (in Little Andaman Island).
3 m (9.8 ft) high at
Port Blair (in South Andaman Island).
The significant shielding of
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 likely contributed to the great height of
the tsunami waves 
Indeed, many infrastructures near the coasts and buildings were
harshly damaged by the waves.
The tsunami first arrived on the eastern coast and subsequently
refracted around the southern point of
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
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 around 2
hours after the earthquake. It seems that the tsunami flooding
consisted of three main waves, with the second being the largest and
most destructive. 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. 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).
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 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 tsunami height survey:
9 m (29.5 Ft) at Koggala.
6 m (19.7 ft) at
4.8 m (15.7 ft) around the
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 Fishery Harbour.
10 m (33 ft) at Kahawa.
4.8 m (15.7 ft) at North
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. 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.
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 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 coastal lifestyle of people and degradation of the natural
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.
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 Island, the Phi Phi
Islands, Koh Racha Yai, Koh Lanta Yai and
Ao Nang of
offshore archipelagos like the Surin Islands, the Similan Islands, and
coastal areas of Satun, Ranong, Phang Nga, Trang and
The country experienced the largest tsunami runup height of any
location outside of Sumatra, which occurred at
Khao Lak and the areas
of Takua Pa district that are facing the Andaman Sea. The tsunami
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
3 m (9.84 ft) along the south coast of
2 m (6.56 ft) along the east coast of
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 Coastal Resources
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 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 is located in the
south of Phang-Nga Province with many luxurious hotels, popular to
foreign tourists, especially from Europe.
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. 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 were much higher than
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. 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.
Thai navy boat 813 (police boat) stranded almost 2 km inland by the
Khao Lak tsunami.
Phuket island, many of its west coast beaches were affected. At
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 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
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.
Tsunami wave striking
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.
Many amateur videos recorded by tourists and locals of the tsunami at
Thailand were televised popularly in the media.
The tsunami arrived in the states of
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 along the southwest coast. Tamil Nadu, the union territory of
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
Tsunami destruction in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
The tsunami run-up was only 1.6 m (5.2 ft) in areas in the
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
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 in Tamil Nadu, and 3.4 m (11.2 ft) each
Ernakulam Districts in Kerala. The duration between the
waves also varied from about 15 minutes to about 90
minutes. 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
The tsunami runup height measured in mainland
India by Ministry of
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 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
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
The tsunami traveled 2.5 km (1.55 miles) at its maximum inland at
Karaikal, Puducherry. 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.Presence of seawalls at the
and some of
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.
The state of
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 and on the
east by a network of backwaters –
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 district, caused by a
4 m (13.1 ft) tsunami.
The worst affected area in
Tamil Nadu was
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. The 13 km (8.1 miles) Marina
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.
At the same time, many villages from many districts at the state of
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.
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. 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
Chennai and Velankanni in Nagapattinam, they were
visitors on the beach.
The tsunami of 26 December 2004 severely affected the
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. Being
rich in coral reefs, the
Maldives provides an opportunity for
scientists to assess the impact of a tsunami on coral atolls. The
significantly lower tsunami impact on the
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.
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
Maldives tsunami wave analysis:
1.3 m-2.4 m (4.27 ft–7.87 ft) at North Male Atoll, Male
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
2.5 m-3.3 m (8.2 ft–10.8 ft) at Laamu Atoll, Fonadhoo
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
2.2 m-2.4 m (7.2 ft–7.87 ft) at North Male Atoll, Huraa
more than 1.5 m (4.92 ft) at North Male Atoll, Kuda Huraa
In Myanmar, the tsunami caused only moderate damage, which arrived
between 2 and 5.5 hours after the earthquake. Although the country's
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 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 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.
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
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
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 coast, the amplitudes are slightly
large off the Ayeyarwaddy Delta, probably because the shallow delta
cause a concentration in tsunami energy.
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
Somalia coastline between Garacad (
Mudug region) and Xaafuun
Bari region), which forms part of the
Puntland Province. Most of the
victims were reported along the low-lying Xaafuun Peninsula. The
Puntland coast in northern
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.
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.
Numerous fishing boats and buildings were also devastated.
Elsewhere in the Indian Ocean
The tsunami also reached Malaysia, mainly on the northern states such
Penang and on offshore islands such as Langkawi
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.
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).
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 that were majorly affected with deaths include South Africa
(the furthest)- 2, Kenya- 1, The Seychelles- 3 and Tanzania-
Tidal surges also occurred along the
Western Australian coast that
lasted for several hours, resulting in boats losing their moorings and
two people needing to be rescued.
Death toll and casualties
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). 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 was the worst affected
area, with most death toll estimates at around 170,000. 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
Indonesia alone, giving a total of 280,000 fatalities.
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 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
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 was close behind
with 539 identified victims. Among the international victims were a
Thai prince, and a number of relatively well known musicians and
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
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 (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.
1 Includes those reported under 'Confirmed'. If no separate estimates
are available, the number in this column is the same as reported under
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 (e.g., tourists in Thailand). For more information on those
deaths, see Countries affected by the 2004
Indian Ocean earthquake#S -
Countries most affected by the tsunami, with the earthquake's
Main article: Countries affected by the 2004
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,
others. Many other countries, especially in Europe, had large numbers
of citizens traveling in the region on holiday.
Sweden lost 543
citizens in the disaster, while
Germany had 539 identified victims.
Event in historical context
See also: Library damage resulting from the 2004 Indian Ocean
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 was about A.D.
1400. 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.
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.
The 2004 tsunami is the deadliest in recorded history. Before 2004,
the tsunami created in both Indian and
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. The most deadly
tsunami before 2004 was Italy's
1908 Messina earthquake
1908 Messina earthquake on the
Mediterranean Sea where the earthquake and tsunami killed about
Main article: Humanitarian response to the 2004 Indian Ocean
German tsunami relief mission team members of AGSEP visiting
Mullaitivu in Northern Province,
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.
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.
Further information: Health risks from dead bodies
Nations all over the world provided over US$14 billion in aid for
damaged regions, with the governments of Australia pledging
US$819.9 million (including a US$760.6-million aid package for
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 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 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.
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. 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
In August 2006, fifteen local aid staff working on post-tsunami
rebuilding were found executed in northeast
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
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. 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. In
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
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.
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. 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.
Both the earthquake and the tsunami may have affected shipping in the
Malacca Straits, which separate
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.
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
Thailand which were completely untouched by the tsunami were
hit by cancellations.
Tsunami inundation, Khao Lak, North of Phuket,
Thailand ASTER Images
and SRTM Elevation Model.
Beyond the heavy toll on human lives, the
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.
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 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.
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
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] 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. 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
Tsunami aftermath in Aceh, Indonesia
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 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
angry that there were Muslims killing other Muslims in an ongoing
conflict. 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
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.
In a poll conducted in 27 countries by
GlobeScan for BBC World
Service, 15 percent of respondents named the tsunami the most
significant event of the year. Only the
Iraq War was named by as many
respondents. 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.
Fraud, false alarms, and panic
The 26 December 2004 Asian tsunami left both the people and government
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 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 and New Zealand. In response, the
India Home Affairs minister announced that a fresh onslaught of deadly
tsunami were likely along the
India southern coast and Andaman and
Nicobar Islands, even as there was no sign of turbulence in the
region. The announcement generated panic in the Indian Ocean
region and caused thousands to flee their homes, which resulted in
jammed roads. The announcement was a false alarm and the Home
Affairs minister withdrew their announcement. On further
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. Three days
after the announcement,
Indian National Congress
Indian National Congress president Sonia
Gandhi called Science & Technology minister
Kapil Sibal to express
her concern about Sibal's 30 December public warning being
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 warning system
Smith Dharmasaroja, a meteorologist who predicted the tsunami before
it hit, was assigned the development of the Thai tsunami warning
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
Effect on the Earth
The changes in the distribution of masses inside the
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,
Earth's rotation a little and thus
shortening the length of the day by 2.68 microseconds.
In popular culture
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
Hafalan Shalat Delisa (2011), an Indonesian movie.
Tsunami: The Aftermath (2006), a two-part television miniseries about
The Impossible (2012), an English-language Spanish film based on the
María Belón and her family.
Dasavathaaram (2008), a Tamil disaster film which culminates with 2004
Kayal (2014), a Tamil drama film which culminates with the 2004
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
Thailand and Sri Lanka.
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.
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
Sri Lanka and the Indian subcontinent.
Tsunami Museum, located in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, was designed as
a symbolic reminder of the 2004
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 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.
The song "12/26" by
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.
Sri Lanka portal
2006 Pangandaran earthquake and tsunami
2006 Yogyakarta earthquake
2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
Aid Still Required
Tsunami Warning System
List of earthquakes in 2004
List of earthquakes in Indonesia
Pornthip Rojanasunand, a prominent Thai doctor who took charge of
identifying the bodies
Tsunami Evaluation Coalition
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M9.1 Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake & Tsunami, 2004 – Amateur
Seismic Centre (ASC)
Andaman Islands Earthquake – IRIS Consortium
Tsunami 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
Indian Ocean Tsunami –
Thomson Reuters & IFRC
Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in the
Newseum archive of
front page images from 2004-12-27.
Satellite images of tsunami-affected areas – National
University of Singapore
Tsunami Anniversary –
Tsunami Then and Now Comparison
Series – Zoriah Miller
Recovering a future: Rebuilding lives after the tsunami –
British Red Cross
The 26 December 2004,
Sumatra Earthquake and
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
International Seismological Centre has a bibliography and
authoritative data for this event.
ReliefWeb has a report on this event.
← 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
Earthquakes in India
1505 Lo Mustang
1819 Rann of Kutch
1881 Nicobar Islands
1941 Andaman Islands
2004 Indian Ocean
2009 Andaman Islands
April 2015 Nepal
October 2015 Hindu Kush
Earthquake zones of India
Geology of the Himalaya
Earthquakes in Indonesia
1629 Banda Sea
1931 Southwest Sumatra
1938 Banda Sea
1943 Alahan Panjang
1943 Central Java
1965 Ceram Sea
1981 Irian Jaya
1984 Northern Sumatra
1989 West Papua
2004 Indian Ocean
2006 Banda Sea
March 2007 Sumatra
September 2007 Sumatra
2009 Talaud Islands
August 2009 Sumatra
2009 West Java
September 2009 Sumatra
April 2010 Sumatra
May 2010 Northern Sumatra
Aceh Singkil Regency
2012 Indian Ocean
Great Sumatran fault
Geology of the
Natural disasters in India
Gohna Lake dam-burst
Maharashtra floods of 2005
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
Amarnath Yatra tragedy
Karanjadi train crash
Vaibhavwadi train crash
Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami (effect on India)
Indian Ocean tropical cyclone
Andhra Pradesh cyclone
2010 Eastern Indian storm
National Disaster Response Force
Effects of global war