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Home Global Activities Asia Aceh Five Years Later - The Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004 in a Nutshell

Aceh Five Years Later - The Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004 in a Nutshell

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Aceh Five Years Later
Great Love Village I, Panteriek
Great Love Village II, Neuheun
Great Love Village III, Meulaboh
The Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004 in a Nutshell
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The Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004 in a Nutshell
At 7:58:55 local time in the morning of December 26, 2004, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake hit 30 kilometers (19 miles) below sea level, 97 kilometers (60 miles) northwest of Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh, at the tip of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The shaking lasted for 500 seconds. What followed the earthquake has been rated as one of the deadliest disasters in the 21st century.

Tsunamis several stories high radiated out like monstrous ripples from the epicenter. The waves were not only huge but also lightning fast. Aceh was the first to bear the brunt of the ten-meter (33-foot) waves. Before long, the tsunami had traveled 7,000 kilometers (4,350 miles) and pounded 12 countries in Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, and Africa.

An estimated 292,000 people lost their lives. Over 3 million people were displaced or otherwise affected.

The Tsunami and Disaster Mitigation Research Center at Syiah Kuala University, Banda Aceh, puts the national toll of people killed in Indonesia at 230,000, while the government’s official count is 173,741. Seventy percent of the deaths occurred in Aceh. Thirty thousand of Meulaboh’s 150,000 inhabitants perished.

Tzu Chi built three communities in Panteriek, Neuheun, and Meulaboh in the Aceh area for 716, 850, and 1,002 families, respectively.

Translated by Tang Yau-yang
Photos by Lin Yan-huang
Source: Tzu Chu Quarterly Spring 2010

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