Tsunami Anniversary Facts and Figures 15.12.09
- The earthquake that caused the tsunami started at 7.59am local time - just before 1.00am in the UK - and lasted nearly 10 minutes.
- It was centred on a sea trench 19 miles under the ocean off the west coast of the northern end of the Indonesian island of Sumatra over an area the length of Italy.
- At 9.2 on the Richter scale it was the biggest quake for forty years and the 2nd largest ever recorded on a seismograph
- The earthquake caused the entire earth to vibrate by up to 1cm, setting off other quakes as far away as Alaska.
- The energy it released was equivalent to 23,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs and displaced billions of tonnes of water
- When the wave hit Indonesia it was as tall as a six story building and travelled two miles inland.
- The main aftershock was a huge earthquake in its own right at 7.1 on the Richter scale.
- The tsunami travelled across the Indian Ocean at the speed of a jet aircraft and hit the coast of Somalia seven hours later.
- There were 226,000 people killed in 13 countries. The bodies of 50,000 of the dead were never found.
- There were 1.8m people displaced and 470,000 homes and buildings destroyed.
- The damaged has been estimated at $US10.7 billion
Source: International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent