Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami

How did the Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami impact the lives of the Indonesian people and the surrounding countries?

Life will never be the same after an Earthquake with the equivalent power of 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs hits Indonesia and surrounding Countries. The impact prompted a worldwide humanitarian response, and ended up making a total of 14 billion dollars in humanitarian aid. "The earthquake and resulting tsunami affected many countries in Southeast Asia and beyond, including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, the Maldives, Somalia, Myanmar, Malaysia,, Seychelles, and others. Many other countries, especially Australia and those in Europe, had large numbers of citizens traveling in the region on holiday. Sweden lost 543 citizens in the disaster, while Germany had 539 identified victims." (2004 Facts)

What was the level of intensity of this Earthquake, and how was it ranked on the most treacherous earthquakes?

Date: December 26, 2004

The Magnitude of this Earthquake was an astonishing 9.1.

The Depth was at a 30 KM, and the type was a Mega thrust.

The Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami on the death toll list was shining right in the number one slot. Being the most deadly natural disaster since 1980.

Tectonic plate movement

"Seismographic and acoustic data indicate that the first phase involved a rupture about 400 kilometres (250 mi) long and 100 kilometres (60 mi) wide, located 30 kilometres (19 mi) beneath the sea bed—the largest rupture ever known to have been caused by an earthquake. The rupture proceeded at a speed of about 2.8 kilometres per second (1.7 miles per second) (10,000 km/h or 6,200 mph), beginning off the coast of Aceh and proceeding north-westerly over a period of about 100 seconds." (M. Nettles)

The mega thrust earthquake was unusually large in geographical measurement. An estimated 1,600 kilometers of fault surface slipped and ruptured about 50 feet along the subduction zone where the Indian plate subducts under the overriding Burma Plate. The slip did not happen instantaneously but took place in two phases over a period of several minutes.

What is it?

"The Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami killed 230,000 people in 14 countries, and inundated coastal communities with waves up to 30 meters (100 ft) high. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. Indonesia was the hardest-hit country, followed by Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand"(National Geographic). 230,000 people is a very large impact, but is fewer than expected. Judging by the force of this disaster, it was estimated that at least 600,000 people would be killed in over 14 countries, but the result was about half of expected.

Signs and Warnings

"There were no tsunami warnings in the Indian Ocean to detect tsunamis or to warn the general populace living around the ocean"(CNN). Since this part of the world is very poor, it is very hard to use all the right equipment to detect large tsunami's. They are trying to get the radar technology everywhere in the world, but Indonesia was not a priority until now.

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