2004 Indian Ocean tsunami

by Nevo Regev

2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami

On an early morning hour of December 23rd 2004 off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, accrued the most deadly tsunami in the world. Indonesia was the hardest-hit country, followed by Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand. It hit coastal communities with waves up to 30 meters high.

This tsunami killed approximately 230,000 people in 14 countries leaving a great trail of destruction and thousands homeless.

How did this happen?

The sudden vertical rise of the seabed by several meters during the earthquake moved massive volumes of water, creating a tsunami that struck the coasts of the Indian Ocean.

The tsunami, like all others, behaved very differently in deep water than in shallow water. in shallow water near coastlines, a tsunami slows down to only tens of kilometers per hour but, in doing so, forms large destructive waves. Scientists investigating the damage in Aceh found evidence that the wave reached a height of 24 meters when coming ashore along large stretches of the coastline, rising to 30 meters in some areas when traveling inland.

The amazing story of Maria Belón and her family.

Henry, Maria and their three sons Lucas, Thomas, and Simon go on a Christmas holiday in 2004 to Thailand, when a tsunami hits the area.

Maria and Lucas came out of from the swirling water, with Maria badly injured. They are found by locals, who transfer them to a local hospital where Maria encourages Lucas to help others find their family members at the facility. Henry, Thomas and Simon together have also survived the tsunami; although Henry is injured he searches for his missing family members. They search for their families in various places before they arrive at the hospital where Henry learns that Maria is at that location and they reunite.

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