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Indian Ocean Tsunami Essay

589 words - 3 pages

The 2004 Boxing Day Indian Ocean Tsunami happened at 00:58UT at 3.316 degrees North and 95.854 degrees East. The Tsunami lasted 8 minutes and caused 227,898 people to lose their lives, which affected many people in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The Indian Ocean Tsunami was created by a series of chain affects including subduction, formation of an earthquake, formation of a tsunami and wave formation.

Subduction is the process that takes place at the boundaries by which one tectonic plate moves under another tectonic plate. The tectonic plates push against each other, causing a build up of pressure, which causes dramatic movement. The Indian Ocean Tsunami was located 250 kms off the West coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The process of the Indonesian Tsunami was caused by the ...view middle of the document...

3 magnitude earthquake on the 26th of December 2004. The epicentre of an earthquake is the point on the earth's surface directly above the focus of an earthquake and is the centre where the waves radiate out in all directions as the earths surface shakes. The epicentre of the earthquake was 30km below the Indian Ocean’s surface and it shook for 8 minutes.

The formation of the Indian Ocean Tsunami was caused by the sudden change of depth in the sea floor, which was created by the Indo-Australian plate slipping 90 centimetres underneath the Burma plate. This lead to the displacement of billions of tonnes of water in the Indian Ocean setting off a series of waves that travel long distances and travelling at speeds of up to 900 kilometres per hour. The waves although were travelling with such force were only 30 cm in height so were barely noticeable.

The last process of the Tsunami is the wave formation. This is created by water particles orbiting, while transferring energy as they bump against each other. In deep seas this is often seen as ocean swells as the tsunami moves at great speeds. When waves approach the shore, the wave slows but increases in height from 30cm deep sea waves to 20 metres and break once it reaches land. Waves travelling east only took 30 minutes to reach Sumatra. Coastal areas like Sri Lankan tourist resort of Kalutara had almost no warning of the approaching tsunami and the first sign was only just before the tsunami struck. The waterline suddenly went back and exposed hundreds of metres of beach and seabed. The waves came on shore at intervals between 5-40 minutes. In Kalutara the water reached at least 1km onshore causing huge impacts and destruction.

The Indian Ocean Tsunami caused huge destruction all around South-East Asia and the most affected countries include India that caused 10,749 people to lose their lives, Thailand 5,395 lives, Indonesia 131,028 lives, Sri Lanka 31,229 lives and Malaysia that experienced 69 deaths.

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