Tsunami 2004 Facts and Figures


This deadliest tsunami 2004 caused by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, killing more than 250,000  people in a single day is the most devastating tsunami in modern times, traveled 375 miles (600 km) in a mere 75 min. That’s 300 miles (480 km) per hour, leaving more than 1.7 million homeless affecting 18 countries. Tsunami is an ever-present and real threat for the these islands of the Indian Ocean due to the presence of a tectonic interactive plate. These reviews may help national, regional, and international organizations to prevent such events from occurring again in the future.

The December 2004 earthquake released about enough energy to power the United States for six months, or put another way, it generated the equivalent of a 250-megaton bomb shaking every point of the earth an inch or more. The associated shifts in the ocean floor displaced enough water to fill a tank 1.6 kilometers wide, 1.6 kilometers high and more than 11 kilometers long. The Los Angeles Times reported: “Miles beneath the waters of the Indian Ocean, a massive piece of the Earth’s crust had heaved, buckled and shifted. Along a fracture zone hundreds of miles long, it moved, releasing pent-up energy equivalent to the power of more than 1,000 atomic bombs. The waters above reared up and crashed down, creating a wave that was now racing across the ocean at 500 mph…The records of history and evidence encoded in coral reefs show that tsunamis have hit the Indian Ocean seldom but with great force.” [Source: Paul Watson, Barbara Demick and Richard Fausset, Los Angeles Times, January 2, 2005]

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The risk of Indian Ocean earthquakes and tsunamis similar to the 2004 Sumatra disaster is greater than previously thought, researchers say. British and Canadian scientists said the risk in the western Indian Ocean of an earthquake-caused tsunami that could threaten the coastal areas of Pakistan, Iran, Oman, India and other countries has been underestimated. UPI science news

A number of foreigners were killed, most them people vacationing in Thailand and Sri Lanka. As of January 20, 2004 they included Germans (60 dead, 615 missing), Swedes (52 dead, 637 missing), Britons (52 dead, 464 missing), Americans (37 dead, unknown missing), Japanese (25 dead, 67 missing), Swiss (23 dead, 240 missing), Australia (23 dead, 18 missing), French (22 dead, 74 missing), Italians (20 dead, 190 missing), and people from 35 other countries. more

Country Deaths Missing Injured Displaced
Indonesia 167,736 37,063 > 500,000
Sri Lanka 35,322 6,700 21,411 516,150
India 18,045 5,640 647,599
Thailand 8,212 2,817 8,457 7,000
Somalia 289 211 5,000
Myanmar 500 500 45 3,200
Maldives 108 26 15,000
Malaysia 75 6 299
Tanzania 13
Seychelles 3 57 200
Bangladesh 2
South Africa 2
Kenya 1 2
Madagascar > 200 1,000
Total 230,00 45,752 125,000 1,690,000

 

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