Wednesday, December 20, 2006

It is one week away from the second anniversary of the Tsunami. Recently, a reporter contacted me to talk about the second anniversary. I wrote back and corrected her by saying it was the third year anniversary. But it really has only been two years. And I am wondering why it seems so much more long ago? Am I trying to forget about it and want to make it as far in the past as possible?

But it is indeed only 2 years ago. For many - the life and memories still live on. Recently, one person wrote to me, and told me that by reading the stories on this website, she was able to start to come to terms with her trauma. Yet others are running as fast away from the memories as possible.

For me - I will be returning to Thailand this year. I haven't decided if I will go to Phuket or take refuge in Bangkok. But I will take time to remember!


The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake--known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake--was an undersea earthquake that occurred at 7:58 a.m. (local time) December 26, 2004 with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The earthquake triggered a series of devastating tsunamis that spread throughout the Indian Ocean, killing large numbers of people and inundating coastal communities across South and Southeast Asia, including parts of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand.

Magnitude: Magnitude 9 "megathrust"

Scale of slippage:
30 kilometres below the seafloor, a 1200 km stretch of the Indian plate was thrust up to 20 metres under the Burma plate, raising the seafloor by several metres.

Historical ranking:
The fourth largest since 1900 and the world's biggest since a magnitude 9.2 earthquake struck Alaska's Prince William Sound in 1964.

Epicentre locality:
250 km south-south-east of Banda Aceh, Indonesia and 1600 km north-west of Jakarta.

Energy released:
Equivalent to the explosion of 475,000 kilotons of TNT, or 23,000 Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs.

Height and speed of tsunamis:
In the open ocean, just 50 centimetres high but travelling at up to 800 km/h. However, the wave s grew and slowed as the sea shallowed towards coasts. Waves were up to 10 metres on the coastline of Sumatra near the epicentre, 4 metres in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Somalia. Distance waves travelled inland: Up to 2000 metres.

Number of countries damaged:
13, including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, The Maldives and Somalia.

Date of last major tsunami in the Indian Ocean:

Disaster and humanitarian crisis statistics

Number of people killed:
Latest figures indicate at least 226,000 dead, including 166,000 in Indonesia, 38,000 in Sri Lanka, 16, 000 in India 5300 in Thailand and 5000 foreign tourists.

Number of people injured:
Over 500,000

Potential additional deaths from infectious diseases: 150,000

Number of people affected:
Up to 5 million people lost homes, or access to food and water.

Number of children affected:
Around a third of the dead are children, and 1.5 million have been wounded, displaced or lost families.

Number of people left without the means to make a living:
One million

Number of World Heritage Sites destroyed or damaged:
Five, including: the Old Town of Galle in Sri Lanka, the Tropical Rainforest of Sumatra in Indonesia and the Sun Temples of Konarak in India.

Estimated cost of tsunami early warning technology in Indian Ocean:
$20 million

Estimated cost of aid and reconstruction following tsunami:
$7.5 billion

Total international aid promised to Tsunami-ravaged nations:
$7 billion



At 12:52 AM, Anonymous Matthew T Rader said...

Such a tragic event, thank you for sharing all this information! While I was in India I had the opportunity to meet anther survivor of the tsunami in India. I wrote his story here:


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