The December 26, 2004 Tsunami In Southeast Asia

1296 words - 5 pages

On Sunday December 26, 2004 at 6:58:50 a.m. local time, the tsunami earthquake hit land in Southeast Asia and caused a massive amount of death and destruction. This 9.3 scale earthquake was the biggest and most dangerous to ever hit since the 9.5 scale earthquake on May 22,1960 in Chile. Earthquakes of this magnitude happen only every thirty to forty years. "Almost two months after the Indian Ocean tsunamis, which killed more than 250,000 people in thirteen countries, the survivors have so far been spared a second assault-this time by disease" (World Report). This tsunami changed people's lives in Southeast Asia, because they lost family members and the countries been damaged. If a warning system had been in effect in Southeast Asia not as many people would have died because they would have known to evacuate. The earthquake was located about forty kilometers down sea level with its epicenter at 3.298oN, 95.779oE and the focal depth was about ten kilometers. "Hundreds, if not thousands, of aftershocks have shaken the area since the massive tremor last December 26th that triggered the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami" ( There were about 84 aftershocks recorded as of Jan. 1, 2005 with magnitudes varying from 5.0 to 7.0 in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and the region of Northern Sumatra. The distribution of these aftershocks suggests that the India and Burma plates slipped along their boundary for about one thousand to two hundred kilometers. The rupture seems to have occurred in two segments beginning near the western coast of North Sumatra epicenter. It then moved northward, at a fast pace, to the Andaman Islands where a major fault already existed. The earthquake's strike was about three thousand and twenty-three hundred and twenty degrees for the 500-600. At a slower pace, the rupture continued in a North-South direction along the northern Sunda fault system for another 500-600 kilometers. A shift has occurred averaging fifteen meters along the Burma and India boundary as a result of this faulting.Not only did the tsunami affect human lives, it also affects the environment. "Human debris such as fabrics and plastics will remain on the coral for months, causing reef loss through dragging with the wave movement" (In Society News). After the tsunami hit land, the media had photographic images and video of the trees being taken away by the waves in the water. The tsunami's effects could bring extinction of some animals like turtles and fish. The coral reefs were forced off when the tremendously strong waves hit land. In Sri Lanka over thirteen thousand fishermen were killed, five thousand were evacuated, and eighty percent of the fishing fleet was severely destroyed. Four thousand and five hundred fishing vessels were destroyed on the Thai coast putting the lives of one hundred and twenty thousand people living in the fishing villages in jeopardy. There were fishermen that were in the boats that couldn't be found.The...

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