Indonesian Tsunami (26th December 2004)

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Tsunami Timeline

  • 20 minutes before the water arrives, people feel the force of the earthquake and buildings collpase. Scientists are warned of tsunam risk and issue a tsunami bulletin
  • 10 minutes after earthquake in Sumatra the wave is approaching at 600 miles an hour. In the open boats were hardly affected. Before it hits land, the approaching wave sucks water in from its leading edge exposing the sea bed at the coast for up to a mile; this lead many people to their deaths.
  • Tsunami - Tsunamis rush in as a surge and due to the incredible wavelength keep coming in for over 5 minutes. Mass of water caused huge damage; water was not clean, it had hit rocks, cars and other debris which cause damage
  • 15 minutes after the quake Northern Sumatra becomes the first place to be hit. Utter devastation with Banda Aceh completely destroyed, with barely and buildings left standing. Height of wave above coconut trees. Hips thrown up onto land, and cement works destroyed. 75% of the tsunami's victims died it Sumatra.
  • 30 minutes after quake 7,000 people killed in the Nicobar Islands
  • Over next 7 hours wide range of countries affected by wave, but message is passed to communities and warnings issued
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Coutries Affected

Indonesia - 106, 500 dead; 12,000 missing; 654,700 displaced

India - 10,600 dead; 5,700 missing, 376,500 displaced

Sri Lanka - 30,800 dead; 6,000 missing; 441,000 thousand displaced

Thailand - 5,300 dead; 3,400 missing (Displace N/A)

Somalia - 150 dead; 14,000 displaced

Maldives - 82 dead; 26 missing; 21,500 displaced

Malaysia - 60 dead; 6 missing; 8,000 displaced

Seychelles - 3 dead; 160 displaced

Kenya - 1 dead

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Overall Effects

By the end of the day of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, it had already killed 150,000 people. The fianl death toll was 283,000.

The Indian Ocean tsunami travelled as far as 3,000 miles to Africa and still arrived with sufficient force to ill people and destroy property.

Many people in Indonesia reported that they saw animals fleeing for higher ground minutes before the tsunami arrived - very few animal bodies were found afterwards.

The risk of famine and epidemic diseases was extremely high immediately following the tsunami - bodies rotting in the tropical heat contaminated food and water sources.

1.7 million people were displaced

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