Sunday, December 26, 2004
Indian Ocean – The death toll continues to grow and millions face a homeless life in the new year as coastal communities in south Asia struggle against continued aftershocks and flooding caused by the largest earthquake to strike the planet in more than a generation.
The earthquake was the strongest in the world since the 9.2-magnitude Good Friday Earthquake which struck Alaska, USA in 1964, and the fourth largest since 1900. More than 140,000 deaths were caused by resulting tsunami, which in Thailand were up to 10 meters (33 feet) tall, and struck within three hours of the initial event.
Multiple tsunamis struck and ravaged coastal regions all over the Indian Ocean, devastating regions including the Indonesian province of Aceh, the coast of Sri Lanka, coastal areas of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the resort island of Phuket, Thailand, and even as far away as Somalia, 4,100 km (2,500 mi) west of the epicenter.
While the earthquake and the tsunamis are no longer ongoing (other than aftershocks), the humanitarian and economic crisis generated by the disaster is still ongoing. This report will attempt to cover the crisis as it continues to develop.