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2004 Indian Ocean earthquake

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The path of the tsunami, or the wave caused by an earthquake.

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, also called the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, was a great underwater earthquake. It happened at 00:58:53 UTC (07:58:53 local time) December 26, 2004. The epicenter of the earthquake was off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. At first, the earthquake was measured as a 9.0 on the Richter scale. Later, scientists said it was as high as a 9.3. Only the Great Chilean Earthquake has been more powerful. The earthquake also was the longest ever recorded. It lasted between 500 (8.3 minutes) and 600 (10 minutes) seconds. It was so powerful that it caused the entire Earth to vibrate. It started other earthquakes as far away as Alaska.

The Asian Tsunami

The large movement of earth under the water caused a very large and powerful tsunami. The tsunami was called the Asian Tsunami, or the Boxing Day Tsunami in Australia, Canada, England, and South Africa because it happened on the holiday of Boxing Day. It spread all over the Indian Ocean. The tsunami caused heavy damage to countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. It also devastated the eastern coast of India, such as the states of Tamil Nadu, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.

Waves as high as 30m (100ft) killed many people and damaged or destroyed a lot of buildings and other property. Over 225,000 people died or were not found after the Tsunami. The wave did damage in East Africa as far away as South Africa (8000km/ 5000mi) where as many as 8 people died because of high water caused by the wave. Because of how much damage was caused and the number of people the earthquake affected, over $7 billion (USD) was donated to help rebuild the areas damaged.

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