Boxing Day Tsunami Facts | Deadliest disaster

On Dec 26, 2004 earthquake occurred under the Indian Ocean and strikes different countries that were situated on the coastal areas. The magnitude of the tsunami was measured at 9.1 on Richter scale. The quake is referred to as “Boxing Day Tsunami”.

Boxing Day Tsunami Facts

The depth of the quake was 30 km beneath the floor.

All these countries were badly hit by the tsunami: Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Maldives, Somalia.

It killed almost 280,000 people and destroyed everything on its way. The 2004 tsunami is one of the biggest natural disasters claiming hundreds of thousands of lives.

It is by far the third largest earthquake ever recorded on seismograph and the worst part of it was its long durations. The quake lasted for about 8.3 to 10 minutes. According to geologists, the longest duration shook the whole earth and as much as 1 cm.

The epicenter of 2004 tsunami was in between Indonesia and Simeulue.

People from all over the world donated for tsunami victims as the total amount of donation calculated was 14 billion US dollars.

Indonesia was most severely hit as compared to other countries.

The megathrust earthquake was followed by several other aftershocks, some of which were even as high as of 6.1 magnitudes. This was quite unusual earthquake and could never be predicted because three days before the day when it struck, an earthquake of 8.1 magnitude occurred in the subantarctic Auckland islands of New Zealand. Geologists believe that the earthquake of 8 magnitude can only occur once a year but few others were of the view that earthquake occurring in New Zealand might have triggered the Indian Ocean’s tsunami. These speculations soon came to an end when US Geological Survey released a report showing no relation between the two earthquakes.

Thanks to the radar satellites which were able to record the height of tsunami waves two hours after the hit. This was believed to be the initial observation and the height recorded was 2 feet.

The waves struck right at 00:58.

The total energy tsunami waves created was twice the energy produce by two atomic bombs. The energy calculated was 20 petajoules. However, the entire energy is not consumed in the Indian Ocean as some of it escaped into the Pacific Ocean.

Sadly speaking, there is no way one can predict the tsunami waves in the Indian Ocean even though authorities have tried to build different warning systems but none prevailed. It goes without saying that tsunami waves are hard to predict simply because the deep water waves (that creates a greater impact) attains a little height and thus a large network of sensors is required to detect it which is quite impossible.


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