On this day: Tsunami struck South Asia

On Sunday morning of 26 December in 2004, Earthquake measured 9.1 on Richter Scale and 18.6 mi epicenter depth was observed in West Coast Sumatra Island which was the epicenter for Tsunami.

Here are few facts about the nightmare that devastated many lives

  • This earthquake was caused by two tectonic plate called as Indian and Burma plate.

  • It affected 18 countries. These are Indonesia, Thailand, India, Sri-Lanka, Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Maldives, Reunion Island (French), Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius, Somalia, Tanzania, Kenya, Oman, South Africa and Australia.

Image result for tsunami 2004 damage

  • In Sri-lanka, 1720 km coastline was damaged along with 300 m to 3 km inland area. 78529 houses were destroyed and 41097 partly damaged. More than 30 thousand lives were lost and more than five thousands are still missing while around 500K people remain displaced

  • Indonesia was one of the worst affected by Tsunami with Banda Aceh saw 126,602 people were dead and more than 93 thousand people still missing. Around 500 thousand people remain displaced till date.

  • Rahmatullah Lampuuk mosque, located in Lhoknga region of Aceh remained unscathed where Tsunami devastated the whole city and structures around the mosque were reduced to ground. Many people took refugee in this mosque built by Dutch colonizers in 1881.

  • More than 10 thousand people lost lives in Tsunami which struck Indian coastline leaving more than 600K people displaced. As per World Bank, Total economic loss is supposed to be of $1.5 b

Are we prepared enough?

In 2004, on the 10th anniversary of Tsunami, UNESCO recognised the achievements of Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWMS). United Nations General Assembly decided that 5 November should be designated as World Tsunami Awareness Day. /IOTWMS conducted the IOWave16 on 7 and 8 September 2016. The exercise simulated the Indian Ocean countries being put in a tsunami warning situation requiring the National Tsunami Warning Centre (NTWC) and the National and/or Local Disaster Management Offices (NDMO/LDMO) to test the SOPs and communication links at all levels of the warning and response chain. Twenty-four Indian Ocean Member States participated in the exercise, and for the first time, 12 countries took the exercise down to the community level where over 50,000 people were evacuated.

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO is leading a global effort to develop and implement ocean-based tsunami warning systems as part of an overall multi-hazard disaster reduction strategy


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