An earthquake and tsunami of the magnitude that struck in 2004 is so rare that catastrophic tsunamis are all but unknown in the long cultural histories of India and Sri Lanka, explains Jose Borrero, a tsunami researcher with the University of Southern California and director of eCoast, a marine consultancy based in New Zealand. He credits the unsparing destructiveness of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami on the raw power of the earthquake that spawned it. Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, tsunami that hit the coasts of several countries of South and Southeast Asia in December 2004. In early November 2004, Hawai’i resident Dwayne Meadows attended a scientific conference where he purchased a commemorative t-shirt. FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. Thai sources acknowledge that the great majority of those listed as "missing" are in fact dead, and that a large majority of these are foreigners. A further problem was the public aversion in Thailand to eating locally caught fish, for fear that the fish have fed on human dead bodies which were swept out to sea by the tsunami[citation needed]. Apart from deaths, thousands of people had been injured and more than one million displaced. On the left side of this map is the Andaman Sea which first receded and then roared back as a massive tsunami on December, 26, 2004, causing extensive damage and deaths along the entire west coast. Asian Tsunami Disaster, Khao Lak, Thailand (2004) Asian Tsunami Disaster, Aceh, Indonesia (2004) Tai Chung County Earthquake (1999) Highland Towers Collapse in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1993) Baguio City Earthquake, Philippines (1990) Flooding due to Dam Collapse, Attapeu Province, Laos PDR Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. At 7.58am local time on December 26, 2004 - 15 years ago - a 9.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the Indonesian coast, at the northern tip of Sumatra.. “Almost no injuries, because it’s such a difficult disaster to survive.”. Directed by J.A. Rather than delivering one violent jolt, the quake lasted an unrelenting 10 minutes, releasing as much pent-up power as several thousand atomic bombs. In the open ocean the tsunami's fast-moving waves were only a few feet high and posed little hazard to deepwater reefs. The sectors most badly damaged were tourism and fishing. Some 250 people were reported dead, including tourists. Case study: tsunami. The first location where the tsunami was noticed was on the Similan Islands, a famous diving site located about 70 km from Phang Nga town in Pha Nga province or 13 km from central Khao Lak. The popular tourist resort of Phuket was badly hit. “So without a natural warning, without an official warning and with no history of tsunamis, hitting coastlines full of people, that’s the perfect combination to cause a lot of death and destruction.”. As proof of the record-breaking strength of the tsunami, the last victims of the Boxing Day disaster perished nearly eight hours later when swelling seas and rogue waves caught swimmers by surprise in South Africa, 5,000 miles from the quake’s epicenter. Watch the tremendous tsunami of 2004 approach the coast of Thailand. These days, Thailand is better prepared for tsunamis as they are 2 hours away from being hit again if there is a new tsunami. And high-density polyethylene piping was found to perform exceptionally well: as roads crumbled, the subterranean flexible pipelines formed new contours and rarely separated.[2]. The Thai government reported 4,812 confirmed deaths, 8,457 injuries, and 4,499 missing after the country was hit by a tsunami caused by the Indian Ocean earthquake on 26 December 2004. Sonali Deraniyagala lost her husband, children and parents in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and was maddened with grief. According to one report, more than 500 fishing boats and ten trawlers were destroyed, as well as many piers and fish-processing facilities. The severity of the situation in Khao Lak is probably explained by the fact, that unlike the high-rise hotels of Phuket, the village of Khao Lak only had low built bungalows instead of high-rise concrete hotels. Titov emphasizes that tsunamis look nothing like the giant surfing break-style waves that many of us imagine. In 2004, the Belón-Álvarez family traveled to Orchid Resort Hotel in Khao Lak, Thailand for the Christmas holidays. There were revelations about the height of these poles, too – the (up to) 10 meter waves submerged the shorter, older poles. The nearby Ko Lanta Yai, however, was not afflicted as badly. The quake originated in a so-called megathrust fault, where heavy oceanic plates subduct beneath lighter continental plates. PHOTO: Phuket just moments after the Indian Ocean Tsunami hit the holiday island on December 26, 2004 – Associated Press/Stephen Trupp Fifteen years after the Indian Ocean tsunami killed upwards of 230,000 people on December 26, 2004, a container at the Takua Pa police station in Phang Nga, southern Thailand, still contains personal items from the hundreds of victims whose … Democratic Party politicians said that Smith has failed to produce any evidence for his warnings at the time, and accused Thaksin of politicising the tsunami tragedy. People flee as a tsunami wave comes crashing ashore at Koh Raya, part of Thailand's territory in the Andaman islands, 23 kilometers from Phuket island, southern Thailand, on December 26, 2004. In the process, massive segments of the ocean floor were forced upward an estimated 30 or 40 meters (up to 130 feet). The 2004 quake ruptured a 900-mile stretch along the Indian and Australian plates 31 miles below the ocean floor. The city of Banda Aceh on the northern tip of Sumatra was closest to the powerful earthquake’s epicenter and the first waves arrived in just 20 minutes. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! The Boxing Day tsunami would be the deadliest in recorded history, taking a staggering 230,000 lives in a matter of hours. The elephant's natural instinct to flee the sea saved the life of a young girl who was upon his back. 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