The PowerPoint presentation which you are about to watch issad and, in places, you may find it shocking. It was made on the30th December 2004 by a Geography teacher who, like you, haswatched with horror as the events unfolded daily on our screens. “This is a human tragedy on a huge scale – for once caused by the action of Nature rather than Man” William Rees Mogg 27.12.04
Indian Ocean Tsunami 26th December 2004 At GMT 00.59 a magnitude 9 undersea earthquake shook the sea bed off the north westcoast of Sumatra. Within hours multiple tsunamis had swept across the Indian Ocean ravaging coastal regions and killing over 120,000 people.
The USGS (United States Geological Survey) record of the earthquake
Two tectonic plates,the Australian andEurasian plates, meetjust off Sumatrassouth-west coast,grinding together andsending periodicseismic tremorsthrough the region.At 0059 GMT a violentrupture occurred on thesea floor along a faultabout 1,000km long.
Area affectedThe 9.0 magnitude quake,which was the strongest inthe world for at least 40years, wreaked havoc acrossthe whole region.Walls of water, tens ofmetres high, slammed intocoastal resorts thousands ofmiles apart.Surging seas and floods werereported as far away as eastAfrica.
Deadly waveAll along the rupturethe seafloor wasshunted vertically byabout 10 metres.This movementdisplaced the overlyingwater, generating amassive tsunami, ortidal wave.The wave then fannedout across the IndianOcean at enormousspeed.
The waves spread out on their voyage of destruction
Within half an hour the waves had reached Sumatra and Malaysia and swept ashore in Thailand. Two hours later they reached Sri Lanka and India.Within four hours they had crossed the ocean to the east coast of Africa
The power of tsunamis only becomes clear as they approach shallow water along the coast
But from the beaches few people recognised the danger of the white line on the horizon
Hildasan, 50, net-makerI was repairing somefishing nets in theharbour when I saw thewaters rising. Id neverseen anything like it. Ibegan to run for my life -I knew something wasvery wrong. Therumbling noise, therising water, just didntmake sense. As I raninland the sea seemed tobe roaring in thebackground.
Their full force is unleashed as they break on to land
Sundar Raj, 21,fishermanI was sleeping in ourboat when the seabegan making arumbling sound. I sawthe water level rising. Ijumped into the waterand tied my boat tothe wharf as the wavesbegan lashing me frombehind. I climbed on tothe jetty and ran.
The Aftermath Early reports gave no hint of the scale of the disaster……. “Scale of devastation Thousands are reported to have been killed, but there has been little news from the worst-hit areas where all transport and communication links were destroyed. “ bbc.co.uk 27.12.04
Low lying coastal areas were left obliterated and flooded as here in Aceh province in Sumatra, Indonesia Current reportsindicate that the north and west coasts of Sumatra haveexperienced the worst destruction
Whole villages were flattened as here in Sri Lanka
Fishing boats, which provide essential food supplies for local people here in India, have been washed ashore
Scenes which were repeated across the Indian OceanSri Lanka Phuket, Thailand
Low lying areas have been left flooded with seawater which quickly becomes contaminated with sewage and decomposing bodiesMale in the Maldives Banda Aceh in Sumatra, Indonesia
Millions of people have been left homeless Cuddalore, south of Madras, India Penang, Malaysia
V Govindan, 55, fishsellerMy house was blownnearly half a kilometreinland when the wavescame. I startedrunning with my wifeand four children. Ireturned to the coastin the evening andsaw that my home hadbeen washed away.The signboard is stillthere - The boardsays: "Live prawnsbought here". Now lifeis so uncertain.
Valli, 20, fish sellerMy family has lived forgenerations by the sea.Everything almostended on Sunday asthe waves lashed ourhouse. We managed todrag most of ourbelongings from ourhuts. Then we ran andran until we reachedthe fisheries office,which is now my home.
A family survey what is left of their home south of Colombo, Sri Lanka
“Paradise Lost” Idyllic beach resorts like Galle in Sri Lanka, photographed here in March 2004, have been turned into scenes of horror, devastation and death,
Now Hell on Earth Phi Phi Island, ThailandBeach debris atPhuket, Thailand
All that remains of luxuryholiday accommodation on Phi Phi Island, Thailand
Devastation on Khao Lak – a once beautiful beach resort in Thailand
Communications have been completely disrupted Bus station in Galle, Sri Lanka 800 people died in a trainderailed by the waves in SriLanka – it is the worst train disaster ever recorded.
The human toll is huge – on 30.12.04 it stands at 125,000
Scenes of grief in India,Malaysia and Indonesia
Millions have been injuredIn Aceh, Indonesia, so many doctors have been killed thatthere are few trained medical workers to assist the injured.
Many children – foreign and local – have lost parents
Increasing numbers ofhomeless people needshelter, food and water
Clean drinking water is required to avoid the spread of disease
Armed police in Galle, Sri Lanka try to prevent looting
Identifying victims is a grim taskMany who died can only beidentified by photographs, fingerprints or DNA tests
Tourists in Phuket make contact with frantic family members
In all affected areassurvivors are hungry as food supplies run out
The threat of disease increasesMedicines are needed desperately
The evacuation of foreign tourists from the beach resorts beginsMany are severely traumatised
A British holiday maker arrives home fromthe Maldives three days after the tsunami
Other survivors, such as these womenand children from the Nicobar Islands, leave to a more uncertain future
Relief efforts, which have been slow to start, gather pace as the enormity of the disaster begins to be appreciated German relief workers prepare to depart for Sri LankaFrench relief workers from the Medecins Sans Frontieres organisation
Indonesian Red Cross workers in JakartaSouth Korean RedCross assistance
Clean, bottled water supplies areassembled in Penang, Malaysia
Clothes are collected in Sri LankaDistribution of food in Madras state, India
In some areas relief supplies are piling upDisruption of communications means that emergency supplies cannot be distributed efficiently
Coffins await transport to remote areas near Phuket in Thailand
Co-ordination of relief efforts from throughoutthe world is proving to be a major challenge Four days after the tsunami many of the worst affected areas cannot be reached
at 30.12.04 The death toll stands at 125,000By the time you watch this, it will be much higher.
“We view with awe a release of power on this scale. We know that this power is greater than that of our species – Nature holds us in its hands. We may be able to lessen some of itsconsequences, sometimes we can give advance warning of the threat but we are not in control.”
The tsunami has demonstratedthat Nature, and not Mankind, is the real master.” William Rees-Mogg 27.12.04