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THE ASIAN TSUNAMI
26TH DECEMBER 2004
A tsunami is a series of waves created when a body of
water (e.g. an ocean) is quickly displaced.
CAUSES OF THE ASIAN TSUNAMI
Earthquakes happen when tectonic plates suddenly move against each other. On 26th December
2004, the largest earthquake for over 40 years occurred between the Australian and Eurasian plate
in the Indian Ocean. The quake triggered a tsunami a series of large waves that spread
thousands of kilometres over the course of several hours. The earthquake caused the sea floor to
rupture along the fault line leading up to the creation of a giant wave.
The tsunami formed when energy from the earthquake vertically jolted the seabed by several
metres, displacing very large amounts of water. Large waves began moving through the ocean,
away from the earthquake's epicentre.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE TSUNAMI
In deep water the tsunami moved up to
500mph; when it reached shallow water near the
coastal areas, the tsunami slowed but increased
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.
PRIMARY EFFECTS OF THE DISASTER
Worldwide donations of $7 billion from the international community.
250,000 people were killed.
Affected countries: Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, the Maldives, and Somalia.
SECONDARY EFFECTS OF THE DISASTER
Lots of aftershocks (e.g. on the Andaman Islands and Nicobar Islands).
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