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  1. The December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was caused by an earthquake that is thought to have had the energy of 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs.
  2. The epicenter of the 9.0 magnitude quake was located in the Indian Ocean near the west coast of Sumatra.
  3. The violent movement of the Earth’s tectonic plates displaced an enormous amount of water, sending powerful shock waves in every direction.
  4. The tectonic plates in this area had been pushing against each other and building pressure for thousands of years. They continue to do so and will likely cause underwater earthquakes and tsunamis in the future.
  5. The rupture was more than 600 miles long, displacing the seafloor by 10 yards horizontally and several yards vertically. As a result, trillions of tons of rock moved, causing the largest magnitude earthquake in 40 years.

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  1. Within hours of the earthquake, killer waves radiating from the epicenter slammed into the coastlines of 11 countries, damaging countries from east Africa to Thailand.
  2. A tsunami is a series of waves - the first wave may not be the most dangerous. A tsunami “wave train” may come in surges five minutes to an hour apart. The cycle is marked by the repeated retreat and advance of the ocean.
  3. Despite a lag of up to several hours between the earthquake and the impact of the tsunami, nearly all of the victims were taken completely by surprise because there were no tsunami warning systems in place.
  4. The Indian Ocean tsunami traveled as far as 3,000 miles to Africa and still arrived with sufficient force to kill people and destroy property.
  5. Many people in Indonesia reported that they saw animals fleeing for high ground minutes before the tsunami arrived – very few animal bodies were found afterward.
  6. The tsunami resulted in at least 227,898 fatalities.

Sources

  • 1

    National Geographic Society. "The Deadliest Tsunami in History?" 2005. Web Accessed May 2, 2015.

  • 2

    National Geographic Society. "The Deadliest Tsunami in History?" 2005. Web Accessed May 2, 2015.

  • 3

    National Geographic Society. "The Deadliest Tsunami in History?" 2005. Web Accessed May 2, 2015.

  • 4

    National Geographic Society. "The Deadliest Tsunami in History?" 2005. Web Accessed May 2, 2015.

  • 5

    National Geographic Society. "The Deadliest Tsunami in History?" 2005. Web Accessed May 2, 2015.

  • 6

    National Geographic Society. "The Deadliest Tsunami in History?" 2005. Web Accessed May 2, 2015.

  • 7

    National Geographic Society. "Tsunami Facts: How They Form, Warning Signs, and Safety Tips." Web Accessed May 2, 2015.

  • 8

    National Geographic Society. "Tsunami Facts: How They Form, Warning Signs, and Safety Tips." Web Accessed May 2, 2015.

  • 9

    National Geographic Society. "The Deadliest Tsunami in History?" 2005. Web Accessed May 2, 2015.

  • 10

    National Geographic Society. "The Deadliest Tsunami in History?" 2005. Web Accessed May 2, 2015.

  • 11

    CNN. "Tsunami of 2004 Fast Facts." 2014. Web Accessed May 2, 2015.

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