Before and After: The 2004 Indonesian Tsunami

The ocean is one of the most powerful sources in our world. It can destroy  in seconds and leave years of pain in its wake. The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake that had a epicentre off the west coast of Sumarta, Indonesia led to the loss of life of thousands and effected millions.

The undersea megathrust earthquake was caused when the Indian Plate was subducted by the Burma Plate and triggered a series of devastating tsunamis along the coasts of most landmasses bordering the Indian Ocean with waves up to 30 meters (100 ft) high. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. Indonesia was the hardest-hit country, followed by Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand.

A combination of satellite images shows the coast of Meulaboh in Aceh province on Indonesia’s Sumatra island (L) before and after the tsunami. (Image: Reuters)
A combination photo shows (top) an Acehnese man walking on debris from the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami in the provincial Indonesian capital of Banda Aceh, and (bottom) an Acehnese man walking in the same area in Banda Aceh. (Image: Reuters)

A combination photo shows (top) an Acehnese man walking past a ship washed ashore by the tsunami in Banda Aceh, and (bottom) an Acehnese worker sweeping a street in front of the Hotel Medan in the same area. (Image: Reuters)

In this combo picture, residents and tourists are seen standing in ankle-deep water in the Tsunami-hit entertainment district of Patong in Phuket (top) December 26, 2004, and the same street nearly five years after December 10, 2009. (Image: Reuters)

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