Second biggest tsunami recorded! By Melissa Hesketh
Basic facts Sunday 26th December 2004, at 9.20am the second biggest tsunami recorded hit Indonesia (LEDC) reaching 9.0 on the Richter scale. Causing over 187,000 deaths and 43,000 missing. The waves from the tsunami weighed over 100 billion tonnes. The amount of people died/missing was very high due to the fact that the tsunami was not found on the radar.
The earthquake With a magnitude of between 9.1 and 9.3, it is the second largest earthquake ever recorded on a seismograph. This earthquake had the longest duration of faulting ever observed, between 8.3 and 10 minutes. It caused the entire planet to vibrate as much as 1 cm and triggered other earthquakes as far away as Alaska. The earthquake of December 26, 2004 was extremely damaging and resulted in many deaths. However, most of the destruction and deaths were caused by the catastrophic tsunami waves it generated. Massive tsunami waves wiped out entire coastal areas across south eastern Asia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Myanmar and islands in the Andaman Sea and the Maldives in the Indian Ocean.
Where did it happen? On Sunday, 26 December 2004, the greatest earthquake in 40 years occurred about 150 kilometres off the west coast of northern Sumatra Island in Indonesia. The earthquake generated a disastrous tsunami. The tsunami hit the borderline of India, hitting a total of 18 countries making it perhaps the most destructive tsunami in history. Indonesia, sri-lanka was the first country which was hit by the tsunami therefore causing high amounts of damage.
Immediate effects? The first of the tsunami waves took a little over two hours to reach Sri-Lanka. A clock on the western side of Sri Lanka at Colombo stopped at 9:20 in the morning, so the tsunami travel time must have been about 2 hours and 20 minutes. Sri-Lanka's south and east coasts were hardest hit. More than 50,000 people lost their lives - mostly children and the elderly. Most of them (more than 1,200) were in the eastern district. There were over 187, 000 deaths 43, 000 missing causing this the be the 2nd deadliest earthquake recorded in history.
Secondary effects? As of 1 January, 2005, there were about 84 aftershocks with magnitudes ranging from 5.0 to 7.0 in the region of Northern Sumatra. Twenty six of these - including the largest- occurred on 26 December 2004, the same day as the main earthquake. Since 1 January 2005, many more aftershocks have occurred. The aftershocks are expected to continue for several weeks and months.
Why was this so devastating? The large tsunami which struck 11 of the nations that border the Indian Ocean was a complete surprise for the people living there, but not for the scientists who are aware of the tectonic interactions in the region. Many seismic networks recorded the massive earthquake, but there was no tide gauges or other wave sensors to provide confirmation as to whether a tsunami had been generated. There was no established communications network or organizational infrastructure to pass a warning of any kind to the people coastlines. Also the tsunami and earthquake came at quite a shock as they did not know that the tsunami was coming therefore not knowing the how dangerous this disaster was going to be.
How did the fact that India is a LEDC make the situation worse? The fact that India is an LEDC made the overall situation worse as the country is in developing progress so for this disaster to hit 11 countries on the coastline leaving high levels of damage and killing thousands, slowed down the process for the countries development.
How did this disaster affect the countries development? This disaster made the the development fall even more behind, causing a lot of chaos and stress for the countries government to decide what and how they are going to solve the situation and progress onwards causing more money spent into making India a MEDC but this will take time! The country is struggling with money issues normally now with the problem with this natural disaster adding onto the list is extremely worrying, money is needed to supply the rebuilding of housing, shops, working facilities, hospitals etc. when they do not have enough money to supply these things putting pressure on the country causing its development a long term progress