Indian Ocean Tsunami Disaster: Home
Sumatra-Andaman Islands Earthquake
December 26, 2004 and Reconstruction: The Next Decade
A Select Guide to Information
On December 26, 2004, a massive earthquake occurred under the Indian Ocean just off the coast of Indonesia. The 9.0 magnitude quake created a series of tsunamis that caused great destruction and loss of life throughout the Indian Ocean basin, within several hours of the initial event.
The event it is still impacting the region; programs and studies continue, both to support recovery efforts and to understand the science behind this devastating natural disaster. Now that the world is more sensitive to the danger posed by tsunamis, awareness has improved early alerts and warning systems, as well as prepared disaster-relief agencies with real data.
The earthquake has been titled the Sumatra-Andaman Islands Earthquake and is the highest magnitude earthquake in the region in over 40 years. Over 227,898 people have been confirmed dead making this the fourth largest death toll from an earthquake in recorded history. Several years after the quake and tsunami events, the entire region is still trying to recover and to rebuild. Some areas will never recover.
Below are links to the event, the aftermath, news and relief activities, science pages on tsunamis and earthquakes, and other resources. This page can be used to study the entire series of events, as well as current and continuing activities. There are also links to data and human effects from the successive earthquakes in 2005, 2007, 2008 and up to the present. More than five years after the devastation, this event is still affecting the region and numerous studies are ongoing. Some of these are located below. Also, current earthquake-tsunami events are highlighted to provide data for research and historic studies.
Tsunami research, warning systems, and disaster preparedness agencies and organizations are included in this guide to assist the study of tsunami and seismic events relating to oceans, and to assist planners in developing mitigation and relief models.
History & Events (Including Current)
- UN Tracking System for Tsunami Relief Pledges: Current Status Reports (ReliefWeb). Updates on progress, status of loans and other activities as the region recovers. (Reports added up to today). Of special interest is:
- South/Southeast Asia and East Africa: Earthquake and Tsunamis: Fact Sheet no. 14 (ReliefWeb Aug. 9, 2005) Status Reports for Countries prepared by the International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
- Significant Earthquakes & Disasters. EQ Net detailed reports on earthquakes from 1999 to 2009. With maps, data sets, other report materials. All pages are now hosted on USGS site.
- Recent Earthquakes Worldwide (International Institute of Seismology and Earthquake Engineering (IISEE)). Includes recent events in the Indian Ocean.
- See also: Current Indian Ocean events.
Ten Years Since the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami (Atlantic Monthly). Article shows how much restoration has occurred.
- M7.0 - 239km E of Enarotali, Indonesia April 6, 2013
- Myanmar Earthquake November 11, 2012
- Minahasa, Sulawesi, Indonesia Events up to present
- Samoa Region Earthquake/Tsunami Disaster (September 29, 2009).
Special Pages on the Sumatra-Andaman Islands Earthquake
- After the Tsunami (CNN). News and events about and following the disaster. Includes resources, images, data, and links to additional sites. Several topics included are:
- Asian Quake Disaster In Depth (BBC) News and events, plus other information, similar to the CNN site.
- Asia's Deadly Waves (New York Times). News, stories, images, videos, links to all materials.
- Asia Earthquake and Tsunami (NOAA). From official phone contacts to history and data, this is a good starting point.
- Indian Ocean Tsunami 2004. (USAGov.gov). Link to many relevant pages in U.S. government and other sources.
- Indian Ocean Tsunamis in Legend. TsuInfo Alert (Newsletter: National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program), issue devoted to the event.
- Dec 26, 2004 Magnitude 9.0 Earthquake & Tsunami in the Indian Ocean (National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) at NOAA). Event history, maps, animations, and data.
- National Geographic News full coverage page. On the tsunami, including news, photographs, maps, related topics, and many articles. Includes historical articles as well, such as: The Deadliest Tsunami in History? and Tsunamis: Facts About Killer Waves.
- Tsunami Event 26 December, 2004 (NOAA). Good data and information, plus updated links.
- Indian Ocean Casualties Map (Washington Post).
- News & Amateur Photos (and some videos)
- Before/After Satellite Images (GlobalSecurity.org). Animated images showing various points in the disaster.
- Before/After Satellite Images (NASA). Compare images showing various points in the disaster.
- GIS links. NOAA compiled list of GIS data sets available from various sources.
- Tsunami Map Collection (Perry-Castañeda Library, Univ. of Texas). Large selection of links to maps worldwide.
- Indian Ocean Tsunami / Tiger Waves (GlobalSecurity.org). Satellite images, photographs, and maps (some animated).
- Map of Wave Travel Time (NGDC-NOAA). Shows how the tsunamis propagated around the world, and a wave elevation (height) map.
- Satellite images Show Tsunami Destruction of Lhoknga, Indonesia (SpaceRef.com / Goddard Space Flight Center).
- Tsunami Interactive Map (Time). Map, graphics, and imagery of the tsunami and aftermath.
- Tsunami Inundation Maps (NOAA Center for Tsunami Research). See computer-modeled maps showing the extent of flood waters to coastal regions from tsunamis.
- Satellite Images by CRISP, Singapore (IKONOS images/CNES (SPOT images).
- Asian Tsunami Videos. Independent site with a series of videos on the tsunamis. Has extreme amount of traffic but also has mirror sites to assist. Different browsers may act differently when downloading.
Relief, Reconstruction Efforts, and Country Contacts
The aftermath of the disaster will continue to haunt the Indian Ocean community, as well as effect the world for years to come. International reaction has been rapid in sending help to the region, with pledges of continued support in the future.
Lists of Relief Organizations
- ReliefWeb has pages devoted to relief efforts by various sources worldwide. This page also leads to other major disasters, including the 2010 Earthquakes in Haiti and Chile.
- Tsunami Relief page (Google) links to main relief organizations, as well as information and contacts
- Aid groups accepting donations for victims (CNN).
Selected List of Major Organizations
- Tracking System for Tsunami Relief Pledges (ReliefWeb). Status of aid received and also current news on funding. As of 2008, these funds are still being received and used.
- United Nations
- United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Relief Aid.
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
- World Vision.
- Tsunami and earthquake facts (CNN). Brief descriptions of historic events for comparison, animations of tsunami formation, and other information.
- Tsunami's Journey (BBC). Animated map showing the earthquake, with animations of how tsunamis form.
- National Geographic News page. A wide variety of resources. Also includes historical articles, such as: The Deadliest Tsunami in History? and Tsunamis: Facts About Killer Waves.
- West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center (NOAA). Reports and warnings for entire Pacific/Indian Ocean network.
For the one of most comprehensive sites relating to current and historical data on earthquakes and related tsunami events go to the Earthquake Hazards Program (USGS). This site provides in-depth studies and materials, maps, etc. on both current and historic events. It also contains statistics and collections of data, such as events by magnitude, deaths, and amount of destruction for comparison studies.
- For Maps and GIS.
- Sumatra-Andaman Islands Earthquake and Indian Ocean Tsunamis, December 26, 2004. EQ Net resources page on the event (moved 2007 to USGS site).
- Northern Sumatra Earthquake, March 28, 2005 EQ Net.
- Other links to the 2005 earthquake:
- Preliminary Results of Rupture Process for the March 28, 2005 Earthquake
- Northen Sumatra Earthquake, March 28, 2005 (Dr. George, PC). Additional links to later quakes and other disasters.
- Tsunami Research Program (NOAA, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Center for Tsunami Research). Research, mapping, models, and all sorts of information. Also has links to many relevant websites. One page of direct interest is:
- Data Sets on the Indonesian Earthquake and Tsunami (NOAA). The most complete set of links to compiled data from sources and agencies around the world. Includes seismic and wave data, maps, tables, GIS, videos, and to photographic and satellite imagery. Also provides links to most of the prominent research centers worldwide.
- Tsunami! (Univ. of Washington, Dept. of Earth and Space Sciences). Scientific information and descriptions of tsunamis, including, what causes them, how they travel, what they can do. Good all-round coverage, including additional information, such as:
- Tsunami Information Links (USGS Earthquake Hazards Program). One of the most complete sites for resources on tsunamis, including links to warning systems. Resources include:
- Tsunamis (The Why Files).
- International Tsunami Information Center (ITIC).
- Tsunami Glossary Terms. e-book. More than a glossary; includes data on international organizations and agencies, warning systems, mitigation programs.
Earthquakes & Seismic Activity
- Earthquake Hazards Program (USGS). Website on all earthquake and seismic-related topics.
- Can Animals Sense Earthquakes? A 2003 National Geographic article looks at this concept and what research has shown. Has a 2005 companion article, written just after the disaster: Did Animals Sense Tsunami Was Coming?
Tsunami Awareness & Preparedness
- Tsunami Warning Center (NOAA).
- International Tsunami Information Center (U.S. National Weather Service)
- West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center
- International Group for the Tsunami Warning System in the Pacific
- Tsunamis: Are You Ready? (FEMA).
- National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP). Preparedness, Safety, Warnings, Mitigation of damages and loss of life.
- Tsunami Preparedness Week. (Annually in March). Awareness/preparedness resources.
- Preparedness and the Tsunami Resilient Community. Programs and planning from International, down to local government.
- TsunamiReady Community Preparedness (NOAA/NWS). Developing a community plan to deal with tsunami disasters (and to minimize losses).
- Tsunami Safety Rules (International Tsunami Information Center). Lists what to do.
- Tsunami Safety Rules (NWS). Safety tips.
- Ultimate List of Disaster Preparedness Resources. Covers a wider range of disasters and resources.