12/26/2004 Sumatra FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions:
How many countries were affected?
Eighteen (18) countries around the Indian Ocean sustained damage from the tsunami. The countries affected were Indonesia, Thailand, India, Sri-Lanka, Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Maldives, Reunion Island (French), Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius, Somalia, Tanzania, Kenya, Oman, South Africa and Australia.
What tectonic plates were involved?
The zone where the earthquake of December 26, 2004 occurred lies on the seismic boundary of three large plates of the earth's crust: the Indian and Australian plates have been colliding with the Eurasian plate for millions of years. The northward movement of the Indian plate as it collides with the Eurasian plate is responble for the rise of the Himalayan Mountains. In addition, there is some relative motion between the Australian plate and the Indian plate in this area since the Australian plate is inferred to be rotating counterclockwise. In the region of the earthquake, the part of the Eurasian plate involved is called the Burma sub-plate. A map from the U.S. Geological survey that shows the area of the earthquake is available at http://walrus.wr.usgs.gov/tsunami/sumatraEQ/tectonic.html .
How many people were killed?
Reports vary, but as of March 1, 2005 the death toll was approaching 300,000 people. Over 5 million people were affected by the tsunamis and well over a million were left homeless. Of the fatalities, almost half were in Indonesia with very high casualties in Sri Lanka, India and Thailand as well. People were also killed by the tsunami in Somalia, Myanmar, the Maldives, Malaysia, Tanzania, the Seychelles, Bangladesh, South Africa, and Kenya. Included in the death toll were tourists from countries all around the world. For a list of the nationalities and number of fatalities please visit the webpage of the Institute of Computational Mathematics and Mathematical Geophysics in Novosibirsk, RUSSIA.
What are the long term effects? What is happening now?
Relief organizations from around the world continue to assess and provide assistance for the recovery of the affected regions. Two websites that have updated situation reports are the World Health Organization and the Center of Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance.
Can't find the answer to your question? We suggest you visit Dr. George Pararas-Carayannis website for a preliminary report on the December 26, 2004 Sumatra tsunami at http://www.drgeorgepc.com/Tsunami2004Indonesia.html