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Hazards and Disasters

Tsunamis

What caused the great Indian Ocean Tsunami of December 2004?

A magnitude 9.0 earthquake in the ocean off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, caused a reverberating swell of water to move toward Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, and the Maldives. Its effects were felt as far away as Africa, before it finally dissipated.



A map showing the location of DART tsunami monitoring buoys across the world (map courtesy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).
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