The Worst of the 2000s By Kristin Chai

The worst of the first decade of the 2000s: the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. It affected many countries, turning their cities into rubble.

At a magnitude of 9.1, it is the 3rd largest earthquake, after the Valdivia Earthquake and the Great Alaska Earthquake, and the most destructive tsunami in the world.

On December 26, 2004, an earthquake from under the sea hit the Indonesian island of Sumatra. In the following hours, a tsunami from the Indian Ocean crashed on Sumatra and many other countries.

about 225,000 people died in 12 countries

The natural disaster brought a lack of clean water, food, and medical treatment, which only increased the deaths. Additionally, it damages the buildings and enironment in over 250 coastal communities.

"We heard a roaring noise and could see ripples of frothy water bubbling up fast from the beach. Two or three minutes later the waves smashed into the hotel, breaking the windows and hitting the tables." -Daniel Thebault, in South-West Sri Lanka
It destroyed the coast, only leaving wreckage in its path. Above is the before and after the earthquake and tsunami.

Normally built houses could withstand the earthquake, but not the massive tsunami waves. However the well designed buildings could withstand both the earthquake and the tsunami.

the tsunami waves ranged from 4 to 39 meters high

The city of Banda Aceh was the most affected by the earthquake because of its proximity to the epicenter. Banda Aceh experienced violent shaking for about five to six minutes. Tall buildings suffered severe damage from the shaking and several collapsed.

"It is just chaotic. The worst is hearing reports that there may be more waves coming... And thousands of people don't know where the loved ones are." -Sue Russell in Phuket, Thailand

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