Right after Christmas came this horrific news about the catastrophic natural disaster. The US Geological Survey said the earthquake registered west of the Indonesian archipelago of Sumatra Island measured 9.0 on the Richter scale – it caused a gigantic tsunami that wiped out most of the regions around the source of the earthquake.
As I watched and browsed the news about this disaster I could not help but feel sadness for the people who have had to go through this tribulation near the end of year. Most TV stations ran the scenes from Phuket (a resort in Thailand), India, and Srilanka over and over again. No news yet from Aceh, the hardest hit region in the area. Although the number of victims from Srilanka, India and Phuket kept increasing… I’m sure Aceh and western part of Sumatera Island must have had more victims, considering their proximate location to the earthquake. The news from Aceh came to public a bit late because the state condition at that time ~ it was still under the state of civil emergency that denied any access, especially from outside the province, to Aceh except for the armies. However, by this night I could see, read, and hear about the huge number of victims in Indonesia (Aceh and North Sumatera).
Tsunami is different from tidal wave. There is still a misconception about it. Tidal wave is caused by tidal current, and tsunami is caused by earthquake. Although tsunamis are rarer in the Indian Ocean than in the Pacific Ocean but the Indian Ocean is prone to the plate tectonic activities ~ since it lies at the meeting point of Indian, Burmese, and Australian plates. Please follow this link for scientific background on the Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami (compiled by Lareef Zubair).
Some news and photos from this catastrophic disaster:
- Death toll from Asian quake, tidal waves tops 23,300 (Jakarta Post Online, December 28, 2004)
- Indons comb seaside for survivors amid decomposing corpses (The Star Online, Tuesday, December 28, 2004)
- Analysis: Oil markets await quake news (United Press International, December 27, 2004)
- A split-second release after millions of years (The Globe and Mail Online, December 27, 2004)
- Photos of the aftermath of that catasthrope earthquake (The Star Online, December 28, 2004)