All rights reserved. The Indian Ocean tsunami generated by the most powerful earthquake in decades on December 26 is believed to have killed more than , people and made millions homeless, making it perhaps the most destructive tsunami in history. The epicenter of the 9. Geological Survey, which monitors earthquakes worldwide. A violent movement of the Earth's tectonic plates displaced an enormous amount of water, sending powerful shock waves in every direction. Within hours killer waves radiating from the epicenter slammed into the coastline of 11 Indian Ocean countries, snatching people out to sea, drowning others in their homes or on beaches, and demolishing property from Africa to Thailand.
It was , the day after Christmas , and thousands of European and American tourists had flocked to the beaches of Thailand, Sri Lanka and Indonesia to escape the winter chill in a tropical paradise. At AM, a 9. The Boxing Day tsunami would be the deadliest in recorded history, taking a staggering , lives in a matter of hours. Buildings folded like houses of cards, trees and cars were swept up in the oil-black rapids and virtually no one caught in the deluge survived.
The 2004 Tsunami Wiped Away Towns With 'Mind-Boggling' Destruction
Latest Issue. Past Issues. On this day, ten years ago, a magnitude 9. Today, many of the communities have recovered, though painful memories and some ruined structures remain in place.
On December 26, , an earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 9. Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. A general view of the scene at the Marina beach in Madras, 26 December , after tidal waves hit the region. Tidal waves devastated the southern Indian coastline killing people, the home minister said, warning that the grim death toll was expected to rise.