Year 8 Geography assignment

Why were so many lives taken by the Indian Ocean tsunami?

What is a tsunami?

Tsunamis are giant waves caused by earthquakes or volcanic eruptions under the sea. Out in the depths of the ocean, tsunami waves do not dramatically increase in height. But as the waves travel inland, they get higher and higher. Tsunami waves may travel as fast as jet planes over deep waters, only slowing down when reaching shallow waters..

The largest tsunami on record rushed past Ishigaki Island, Japan, in 1971. It was an incredible 84.7 meters (278 feet) high. While it caused little damage, the giant wall of water relocated a 750-ton block of coral 2.4 kilometres (1.5 miles) inland.

The Earthquake that occurred in the Indian Ocean on the 26th December 2004, was believed to be one of the most deadliest and devastating tsunami in history, claiming over 300,000 lives. It was estimated to have released the energy of 23,000 Hiroshima type atomic bombs according to the USGS

It was caused by an earthquake which prompted a series of deadly, huge killer waves along the coasts of most landmasses that border the Indian Ocean, causing destruction in over 14 countries.


By the end of the day more than 150,000 people were either dead, missing and millions more were homeless, making it possible the most upsetting tsunami ever.


Mozambique (under Tanzania) was fortunately not affected because Madagascar protected it from the tsunami. However if it had been hit there would have been a lot of destruction because it is one of the poorest country and would not have gotten much relief from other countries


what caused the Earthquake?

Two plates the Indian plate and the Burma plate ( a section of the Eurasian plate) slid under another plate causing friction to make an earthquake which allowing water in the gap caused little waves which gradually got bigger and bigger.