26 December 2004

Tsunami Killed 177,000 in Aceh

VIVAnews - 4 years ago today, on 26 December 2004 a massive tsunami triggered by an earthquake under the Indian Ocean killed 177,000 people in Aceh.

On 26 December 2004, at 07:58:53, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, the fourth largest in the world since 1900, occurred off the west coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia. The earthquake generated the biggest tsunami the world has seen over the last at least 40 years which swept across the Indian Ocean within hours. Over 177,000 people lost their lives in the Aceh province alone. Virtually all of the west coast areas of Aceh were devastated by the earthquake and tsunamis.

The tsunamis also affected Phuket in Thailand, Penang in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India, and Somalia. Indonesia is known to be located at a vulnerable zone, the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, where two continental plates stretching from the western hemisphere through Japan and South East Asia meet, causing frequent earthquakes. According to the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, the Aceh tsunami was the worst natural disaster in recent history. In all, the tsunami killed more than 200,000 people in 13 countries.

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