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December 2004 Tsunami and its Aftermath

before and after picture of areas hit by the tsunami

The tsunami caused more casualties than any other in recorded history. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the latest death tolls by country as of 2/15/05 are as follows:

Indonesia: 108,100 (127,700 more are missing and presumed killed)
Sri Lanka: 30,900
India: 10,700
Thailand: 5,300
Somalia: 150
Myanmar (Burma) 90
Maldives: 82
Malaysia: 68
Tanzania: 10
Seychelles: 3
Bangladesh: 2
Kenya: 1

                                        (click for an enlarged image)

Among the hardest hit areas was Banda Aceh, which is the capital of the Aceh province located on the northwestern end of Sumatra, Indonesia. Below are the before (left) and after (right) pictures. Additional before and after photos are available here. Information on the Aceh province is available through Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO).

Media Coverage
Many major media outlets have developed special coverage sections on the December 2004 tsunami in Asia and the continuous updates in the affected regions.
Please note that some photos may be graphic and may not be suitable for all viewers.

British Broadcasting Company (BBC) Tsunami: Anatomy of a Disaster
Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) Disaster in Asia
CNN's After the Tsunami
National Public Radio (NPR) Tsunami
New York Times Asia's Deadly Waves
Washington Post Tsunami in South Asia

Lesson Plans
Earthquakes and Tsunamis from Parade Classroom
The Tsunami Disaster: Putting it in the Context of Foreign Aid from the Choices Program at Brown University
Understanding Tsunamis from Discovery School (Grades 6-8)

Relief and Nonprofit Organizations Assisting Region
Asia Regional Information Center
World Health Organization

Interactive Map of Tsunami-Affected Areas

Films and Video Program Titles
Journey to the Heart of the Tsunami, a joint British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the United States' Discovery Channel documentary, is in production and expected to be released in late 2005.
"Scientists hoped to compile a second-by-second account of the disaster using computer-generated images, from the first subterranean tremors to the moment of impact on shore. This will be shown in a two-hour documentary." (, May 12, 2005)

Tsunami: Wave of Destruction, ABC News, 2005, 60 minutes plus 24 minutes of additional footage
"First explaining in scientific terms the forces that devastated South Asia in late December 2004, this ABC News special then surveys efforts to help the region's stricken people. Includes on-site reports from Thailand, Sri Lanka, and India; Diane Sawyer's visits with orphaned children; and Buddhist monks contemplating the tragedy."

Tsunami: the Wave that Shook the World, NOVA, 2005, 60 minutes
"On December 26, 2004, a series of tidal waves killed hundreds of thousands and devastated communities around the Indian Ocean. With around 100 tsunamis striking the world's coastlines each decade, NOVA investigates what made the recent event so powerful and catastrophic. In a special report shot within days of this shocking disaster, NOVA's Tsunami: The Wave That Shook The World presents a clear explanation and analysis of the tragedy, revealing exactly how these deadly waves were triggered by one of the most powerful earthquakes recorded this century." Accompanying NOVA Lesson Plan

Last Updated July 27, 2012

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