Back In Time To The Indian Ocean Tsunami: Catastrophic Waves That Killed 280,000 People

Back in Time is ED’s newspaper type column that reports an incident from the past as though it has happened just yesterday. It allows the reader to re-live it several years later, on the date it had occurred.

For this incident, we go back in time to 2004.

Chennai, 26th December 2004: Sleeping soundly in their beds post the Christmas day celebrations, the people of Kerala and Tamil Nadu had no clue how substantially their lives would be changing the next morning.

Unaware and unnotified, thousands of people across the Indian Ocean community had their sleep shook away when they opened their doors to encounter 50ft tall waves in front of them. These ferociously deadly waves that hit the shores of India, Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka were started off due to an undersea earthquake with the epicenter near the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia.

Indian Ocean Tsunami - The epicentre with the affected areas
Indian Ocean Tsunami – The epicenter with the affected areas

 

This massive thrust earthquake is estimated to the third largest earthquake ever recorded with a magnitude of 9.1 on the Richter scale.

The waves have caused a complete shutdown of livelihood in the affected areas, for tourists, people and even the climatologists were unprepared for the havoc that was wreaked. The Tsunami built up with little to no warning in a matter of minutes.

Over 3,000 people have been killed in India and 4,500 in Sri Lanka have been killed as of now. An economic damage of 500 million can be expected as a consequence of the natural calamity.

The United Nations Emergency Relief has started the relief work in the affected countries and has launched helplines for victims. Please donate your love, time, effort and money for the people who through no fault of their own have lost their homes, their family, their food, simply because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Post-scriptum:  Twelve years after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, the farmers and fishermen of Chennai and Pondicherry have still not recovered from the losses that inflicted upon them because of the unforeseen catastrophe.

Some have changed professions, while some are still grinding and doing hard labor to feed their stomachs and their families. They attribute this to the degradation in quality as well as quantity of fish near the shores post-Tsunami.

The city of Banda Aceh before and after the Indian Ocean Tsunami
The city of Banda Aceh before and after the Indian Ocean Tsunami

 

The death toll actually reached up to 280,000 by the end of that year. As much as 13 countries in all were affected by the Indian Ocean Tsunami. Economic loss of whopping US$10 billion was estimated due to the damage caused by the natural disaster.

While the world was shaken (literally, it caused the entire planet to vibrate as much as 1 centimeter), a never seen before humanitarian effort was also brought into action that year. More than US$14 billion was donated from all over the world in humanitarian aid.

Also, the climatologists took a hint and set up an Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System just in case the waves decided to swing back again.

Well, life goes on and so do people.

May the lives of those lost in this unfortunate incident shall rest in peace.


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