Skip to comments.Tidal Waves Kill More Than 3,200 in Asia (Update: Death toll now tops 11,500)
Posted on 12/26/2004 2:09:10 AM PST by Grzegorz 246
JAKARTA, Indonesia - The world's most powerful earthquake in 40 years triggered massive tidal waves that slammed into villages and seaside resorts across Asia on Sunday, killing more than 2,200 people in five countries.
Tourists, fishermen, homes and cars were swept away by walls of water unleashed by the 8.9-magnitude earthquake, centered off the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
Government and hospital officials both in Sri Lanka and India said 1,000 people had been killed in each of those countries. More than 200 were reported killed in Indonesia, 61 in Thailand and 10 in Malaysia. Hundreds were reported missing, and the death toll was expected to rise.
The U.S. Geological Survey (news - web sites) said the quake was a magnitude-8.9. Geophysicist Julie Martinez said it was the world's fifth-largest since 1900 and the largest since a 9.2 quake hit Prince William Sound Alaska in 1964.
The effects of the quake reverberated throughout the region, as waves as high as 20 feet crashed into coastal villages over a wide area.
In Sri Lanka some 1,000 miles west of the quake's epicenter officials and hospital doctors said 1,000 people had died. They warned that the death toll was likely to rise. Military spokesman Brig. Daya Ratnayake confirmed up to 500 had died. He said a higher toll would not surprise him.
A wall of water slammed into southern India, killing about 1,000 people, mostly in Tamil Nadu state, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said.
Hospital and local officials said the death toll on Indonesia's Sumatra island was 201 people.
Communications were down in several coastal towns facing the epicenter of the undersea quake off the western coast of the island's Aceh Province, raising fears of widespread and as yet unreported damage on the island.
Martinez blamed the tidal waves on the quake.
"This is not unusual occurrence for an earthquake this size and where it's located," said geophysicist Julie Martinez.
May God have mercy on those people.
This is BIG!
Sadly, early estimates in natural disasters are always underestimated. I hope that this will be an exception to the rule.
What a mess. Hope our interests are safe and sound out there. Anyone know what assets we have deployed in that area of the world?
May those who mourn be comforted.
Diego Garcia springs to mind, S.W. of India in the Indian Ocean. I wonder how the Seychell Islands fared?
My gosh. That is a big one. I was in SF in ,89 for the 7.1 and I thought that it was BIG!!! each .1 is 10 times bigger WOW.
God Bless ...
Here in Washington state, there are signs all over near the coast about tsunami evacuation routes.
If and when a tsunami hits, the first dude on the road will be some old geezer driving a 65 Rambler, he will make it halfway up the road before he blows a rod, and everyone behind him will be wishin they invested in a rubber raft.
They won't get hit by the tidal wave.
But about that time, Mt. St. Helens will do, as all beautiful women do on occasion, wake up with a really bad attitude.
Doesn't Arthur C. Clarke live in Sri Lanka? Any news on how he's doing? I know he's confined to a wheelchair.
As far as I know he still does. This area is routinely known for huge natural disasters, with the floods from the Ganges, etc.
Remember, last Christmas, something like 40,000 were killed in Bam in Iran, I was deeply struck by that politics aside, I recall seeing pictures of the fortresses and citadels there when I was a child.
My heart goes out to all of them.
Not one of the 24/7 cables nor one of the majors is covering.
I can't imagine a more terrifying natural disaster, one that knows no season and that gives you no warning cues from your immediate environment, coming out of the clear blue.
Fox did a minute at the top of the hour. They go live at 7 am, and I suspect they will have more. Unfortunately, it's the idiot crew of the weekend Fox and Friends, so clarity will not be the watchword.
I found another CNN covering it (CNN Int'l) ...it had been on regular CNN (vs. headline news) for parts of it, but then they kept going to dumb stuff like the others. I'm not sure what this is that I finally found it on (my TV guide said CTN...Country Television Network...not sure if that's it's real name) but it's the ONLY thing I've found to consistently have reporting...
I don't understand why CNN doesn't keep it on...it's not like they need to find someone to report...this guy on CNN Int'l has been reporting for almost the past three hours straight...... Very odd it's just the silly one minute on Fox and NOTHING else. This is a huge event..........................
Surely in the next half hour the majors will wake up...that's 7 on the east coast then...? Maybe?
Thanks. I'm back to watching the Buckley father and son appearance from 9Dec on C-SPAN. The program was introduced as the first time they had ever appeared together on the same stage.
I believe it is 10 times for each whole number increase.
But then I've been sneaking around the web. I found this:
Send in FEMA.
Don't want that along route 101.....
I would imagine there is lots of scrambling going on in Green Rooms right now. Seven AM ET does seem to be the dividing line for all of "them" to tell all of "us" what is going on.
Change/edit article to read "3200", not "2200"
Hooboy There's going to be allot of Christian missionaries from America in this, on top of it all.
I believe every point is 10 times the energy.
Below you will find general information on how local tsunamis are generated by earthquakes as well as animations, virtual reality models of tsunamis, and summaries of past research studies. The scope of tsunami research within the USGS, however, is broader than the topics covered here. USGS researchers have also provided critical research toward understanding how sediments are transported during tsunami runup (see, for example, analysis of deposits (1.8 MB) from the recent Papua New Guinea tsunami) and deciphering the geologic record of prehistoric tsunamis (for example, in the Pacific Northwest). The USGS also collaborates with the tsunami research group at NOAA. As part of this effort under the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program, the USGS has upgraded the seismograph network and communication functions of the west coast tsunami warning system (termed CREST -- Consolidated Reporting of EarthquakeS and Tsunamis).
For further information select one of the topics below. Other tsunami sites are listed on the links page.
The Basics: Life of a Tsunami (56 kb)
Tsunamis in the U.S. Pacific Northwest
The 1998 Papua New Guinea Tsunami
Tsunami and Earthquake Links
Interesting, thank you.
Let's just put it out there. :)
Rev 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
Rev 8:5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast [it] into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
Rev 16:18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, [and] so great.
Rev 16:19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
Rev 16:20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
Maldives : Fate of tens of thousands of european tourists being censored
According to that, the coming "earthquake" John wrote about will be the worse ever.
Same idea. Wonder how the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India weathered the tidal wave.
I was thinking of vacationing there someday, too.
Here in Alaska we have had 2 small quakes in the last week. Nothing near 8.9 obviously .
I have an old Army buddy (full-blooded Aleutian) who lives have way out the chain. He says things are always shakin' out there.
Yep, I moved from SF and thought I was out of the shake zone no way . It shakes here all the time.
Any idea on how long after the quake it took the tsunamis to hit? Had evacuations started?
Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, all affected by the tidal wave, thousands killed in each location.
I wonder if Diego Garcia was hit?
FoxNews just reported death toll at 3,500 and probably rising.
I can imagine quite a few fishing vessels have been caught up in the resulting tsunamis. CNN reported 40 foot waves.
You got me, I'm still trying to convert time zones and catch up. From what I understand, these waves can move pretty fast, depending a number of variables.
Per FNC: According to Reuters death toll now over 6,000 with many missing.
Reuters just reported over 6,000 dead.
RealPlayer version of live TV news out of Thailand.
It is in English. General news, not just on the disaster.
MSPlayer version [but I can't get it to stay connected]
8.9 mag, full moon alert
Quake, Tsunami Hit South Asia; 4,500 Feared Dead
Actually if the fishermen were away from the coast far enough, they're fine. Tsunami in the open ocean are only a few inches high.
I'm unaware of any evacuations taking place anywhere in the Indian Ocean. There's no tsunami warning infrastructure or network. These tsunamis hit probably 1-3 hours after the quake in most places. Places like Sri Lanka probably felt very limited shaking due to distance from the epicenter. Only warning you get is the water going out before it comes in.
I'm just surprised that Thailand never developed such a system, specifically for the island of Phuket. I know that the universities in Bangkok do some inter-college seismic research, but I guess that never included sophisticated monitoring equipment in their own region. Or if it did, the communications capability was not robust enough to get the message to the people who needed it.
When we look back on this calamity, the lesson to take away is something as simple as a warning siren on the key beaches of India and Sri Lanka could have saved thousands. Though a lot of Indian fishermen look dirt-poor, in a group of them, one man will often have a cellphone. If there is a basic warning system in place, people will be able to take care of themselves.