TSUNAMI (South Asia Desaster 2004)
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It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name.
It's expected to take four years to rebuild much of the parts of south Asia that was hit by the Dec. 26, 2004 tsunami – longer in the hardest hit areas of Bandeh Aceh, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
A 2006 report from the United Nations Office of the Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery said the number of people lost in the tsunami was nearly 230,000, with 187,000 dead and 43,000 missing. More than half, nearly 168,000, of the dead and missing were from Indonesia. The total number of dead may never be known because of the number of people swept out to sea.
Foreign Affairs confirmed on Dec. 23, 2005, nearly one year after the earthquake, that 20 Canadians died in the tsunami.Meanwhile, finance ministers from the Group of Seven nations have agreed to suspend debt payments from countries hit by the waves. Canada had announced its intention to suspend debt payments on Dec. 30.
"I have never seen such utter destruction mile after mile," UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan told reporters after flying over Sumatra. "You wonder: Where are the people? What has happened to them?"
The south Asia tsunami – one of the world's worst natural disasters – struck on the morning of Dec. 26, 2004.
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Parts of the sea floor rose by about 10 metres, displacing hundreds of cubic kilometres of seawater. That generated a tsunami – a series of huge waves that quickly fanned out across the Indian Ocean.
The waves moved so quickly, there was no time to sound the alarm. Walls of water slammed into coastal areas of Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, formerly known as Burma,, Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India and – thousands of kilometres away – Somalia in East Africa.The waves destroyed whatever lay in their path: from the built-up tourist resorts of Thailand to isolated fishing villages in Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Thousands of people were killed. The number of dead rose by the hour as the extent of the devastation became apparent.
On Dec. 29, 2004, military teams finally reached the west coast of the island's northern province – Aceh – about 150 kilometres from the quake's epicentre. They found thousands of bodies. Three-quarters of the coast had been obliterated.
By the first week of January, it was clear it would take years to rebuild across much of the stricken area. Some towns and villages were so badly damaged, they could no longer be inhabited.
The worst tsunami in the modern era hit more than 120 years ago, when the volcano, Krakatoa, exploded triggering waves that destroyed parts of the East Indies and killed more than 36,000 people.
In 1645 B.C., a volcano exploded on the Aegean island of Santorini, sending a tsunami across the Mediterranean. Archaeologists believe the waves destroyed Minoan civilization on Crete and likely damaged coastal towns and cities.