2004 Tsunami Highlights
CNN Editorial Research
Here is some general information about the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. On December 26, 2004, a earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 9.1 hit the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia.
National statistical centers on environmental information:
227,898 people were killed or listed as missing and presumed dead.
Material losses in the Indian Ocean region amounted to $ 10 billion.
Tsunami are formed by a displacement of water – a landslide, a volcanic eruption or, as in this case, a boundary slide between two of the earth’s tectonic plates – plates of rock 50 to 650 feet (15 to 200 meters) thick that carry the Earth’s continents and seas to an underground ocean of much warmer semi-solid material.
The December 26, 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean was caused by a landslide of approximately 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) of the border between the Indian and Burmese plates off the west coast of North Sumatra. The convergence of other plates is straining the region, and at the epicenter of the earthquake, the Indian Plate is moving northeast 2 inches (5 centimeters) per year relative to the Burmese Plate. Aftershocks were distributed along the plate boundary from the epicenter to near Andaman Island.
The magnitude 9.1 earthquake was the strongest since the March 28, 1964 earthquake in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. It was the third strongest since 1900.
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