Sumatra, Indonesia Tsunami

Landon Matak

Sumatra Tsunami Causes Massive Damage

On December 26, 2004, a 9.1 earthquake shook the Indian Ocean. The earthquake caused a massive series of waves. People lost their homes, property, and life's that day. The tsunami spread to more than 11 countries.

How Tsunamis Form And What They Are

A tsunami is a series of waves formed by an earthquake (the sliding and releasing of energy when two tectonic plates meet) or when a volcano erupts by the ocean. They can also be formed by landslides, but they would be very small. The interval between the waves can be from 5 minutes to up to an hour and a half.

Where The Tsunami Hit

Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Somalia, Maldives, Malaysia, Myanmar, Tanzania, Kenya, Bangladesh, Seychelles. These are the hardest hit 11 countries from the tsunami. (There are more countries like Madagascar and Australia). Even though thousands of miles away from the epicenter, the tsunami still had enough power to destroy and kill.

Sumatra Tsunami: How It Began

The Sumatra tsunami was the result of an earthquake off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The tectonic plates had been building up energy for years and on that fateful day, they released their energy. A 9.1 earthquake shook the ground of the nearby island. Just the earthquake was devasting enough, but to make things worst, that's when the waves started to form.

The Waves

The waves were 50 meters tall (150 ft.). When they rammed into the coast, the flooding went in 50 km (31 miles) just in Meubulah, Sumatra. The waves were reported to be as fast as a jet airliner in some parts and over 650 mph in others. The first wave wasn't the worst, because the others kept pulling debris into the water then the waves would push them vigorously back into the land.

During The Tsunami

The tsunami was very devastating. Some of the islands didn't have any warning systems because earthquakes aren't usual there. This meant the islands would have lots of deaths. The flooding would travel inside of houses or even move them. The waves would carry people almost 10 miles at most. Some countries reported that even people traveling on boats were either killed or moved harshly. People located on the coast or right by the earthquake were the most effected since the waves would crash down on them.

The After Effects

The tsunami was one of the most destructive tsunamis ever recorded. It has a total death rate of about 227,900 deaths, over 1,500,000 displaced (moved), and 14,000 lost. Homes were moved or crushed. Even food supplies were cut off in some countries. Massive flooding caused trees to be pushed down and boats to be moved inland. The total cost goes from about 20 billion dollars to 35 billion dollars.

Interesting Facts

1. The animals of the nearby island scurried away before the tsunami even got close to hitting the island.

2. The earthquake was 600 miles long and moves trillions of rocks.

3. The tsunami went almost 3,000 miles to Africa.

4. The earthquake was about 23,000 Hiroshima bombs going off at once.

5. It was the most recorded tsunami ever.

Other Videos

The following video is not of the tsunami but of the earthquake that created it