In the early hours of Boxing Day (0058 GMT) an earthquake six miles
deep and measuring 9.8 on the richer scale (the largest for forty years)
occurred under the Indian Ocean. This caused a huge Tsunami which
resulted in over 150 000 deaths.
The earthquake occurred when the Eurasian plate (continental crust)
moved against the Australian plate (oceanic crust) (compacting it) on the
destructive plate boundary. The Tsunami was travelling 500 mph over water
and when it reached land it slowed but increased in height making it more
dangerous still. In some places the Tsunami reached as far as one km inland.
The tsunami destroyed countryside, housing, hotels and infrastructure
but the highest costing was the loss of lies. Over 150 00 are dead and
hundreds of thousands are still missing. The secondary effects are no less
devastating. Water born diseases such as cholera, dysentery and malaria are
spreading fast and there is a lack of clean water as wells are contaminated,
there is also a lack in food getting to the survivors causing famine and in the
abandoned houses criminals are looting the areas. Another grim effect of the
tsunami is the abduction of children by criminal gangs to be used
The disaster has really made the world seem small, it's on the other side yet we all have some sort of connection with it (even if it's just the place that 'The Beach' was filmed in was hit). Some body will never be found and the real shock and trauma will come after this initial situation of chaos. Aid workers were digging ditches at camps to create latrines, but because the groundwater is high, that was proving a challenge in some areas, they said. Many bodies are being buried without being identified or counted. The death toll could have been reduced if the earthquake had not occurred during the festive season, as inevitably there was a great deal of tourists in the area. The government has pledged 715 million in immediate relief and has refused aid from other countries. They don't believe there are large numbers of people with festering wounds in need of urgent medical care. Distance in time for the wave to travel from the epicentre to the shoreAndaman Islands- 30minsThailand - 90minsSri Lanka - 2hrs Sumatra - 15 minMaldives - 3 hr 30 minutes. The country is refusing outside help, saying its size and economy allow it to care for thousands of survivors along its southeastern coast. This year had been earmarked for Africa but after this disaster our focus has been taken from that. The tsunami caused so much destruction as the countries hit had absolutely no tsunami warning system, the only sign they had was the sudden retreat of the water although people believed were told (whoever you believe) that they were quite safe and this was totally normal. The USA formed a coalition with other countries and the UN co-ordinated aid. As harsh as it sounds it was good to see that Blue Peter are keeping their charity of the year the same (though maybe that's just because they had already done the filming). Death TollsIndia: 9,682 dead.