Beyond Horizons


A look back at the Indonesian tsunamis of 2004 and 2010

- By: Tim Miller

It is said that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Revisiting some of the key points in our past, this section shares event details, perspectiv­es and suggestion­s so that we can learn from it and ensure that history does not repeat itself.

Iremember standing in front of the television, watching the news in horror as I saw footage of crashing waves sweeping away the town of Aceh in Indonesia back on 26 December 2004. I remember feeling helpless and yet morbidly awed by Nature’s destructiv­e force. That fateful morning, a 9.1-magnitude quake off the coast of Aceh triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed a staggering quarter

of a million people in 13 countries not only in Indonesia but Sri Lanka, India and Thailand.

Forces that were building up over hundreds of years deep in the Earth were released. They shook the ground violently and caused the sea bed to collapse, culminatin­g in killer waves as high as 18 metres. The waves radiated from the epicentre, across the Indian Ocean at great

Dreadful Damage (2004)

After the natural disaster, this was the estimated death toll in the 4 most affected countries.

speeds and ultimately crashed into islands and coastal areas resulting in utter devastatio­n. That quake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, was estimated to have released energy equivalent to 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs. The scale of the destructio­n and aftermath is comparable.

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Indonesia Sri Lanka India Thailand

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