On December 26, 2004 a 9.0 Earthquake off the coast of Sumatra Island, Indonesia in the Indian Ocean triggered a tsunami which spread over more than 10 countries in SE Asia and NE Africa. Wave heights were 8 to 20 ft. as they reached shore.
It is being referred to as the Boxing Day tsunami.
(See Tsunamis)
The wave reached Sri Lanka in about 90 min. and took 12 hrs. to reach E. Africa.

    Africa, World

Death Toll by Country as of Jan. 21, 2005
Country Dead Missing Displaced
Indonesia 166,000 12,132 703,518
Sri Lanka 38,195 6,043 422,040
India 10,714 5,669 647,521
Andaman & Nicobar
islands (India)
1,316 5,500
Thailand 5,300 3,396
Somalia 300 150 4,000
64 3 3,205
Maldives 83 26 21,633
Malaysia 68 6
Tanzania 10
Bangladesh 2
Kenya 1
Total 222,053 32,925 1,801,917
Source: World Health Organization
On Jan. 17, Reuters reported the total was over 175,000.
Jan 21, AP reported deaths at 225,000.

A Jan. 28th report at the Sidney Herald added 132,197 listed as missing in Indonesia and 5,669 in India for a total of 283,000.

A year later the U.N. puts the number at least 223,000, though it says some countries are still updating their figures.

Half the casualties in Thailand were tourists at popular beach resorts in Phuket, Khao Lak and Phi Phi. As of Dec., 31 the highest confirmed death tolls were Sweden (59), Britain (34), Germany (34), France (22), Norway (21), Japan (17), United States (15), Italy (14), Switzerland (13), Australia (10), Denmark (7), Singapore (7), Belgium (6), Netherlands (5), Canada (5), Finland (4), South Korea (4), South Africa (4), Philippines (3), Taiwan (2), Brazil (2).
As of Jan. 3, 7,000 euorpeans were still missing.

On Jan. 5, The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that the tsunami death toll could double to about 300,000 unless survivors received clean water and other basic services by the end of the week.
Danger of infectious diseases such as malaria, cholera, measles and encephalitis is greatly increased.

"One of the most immediate impacts has to do with food security," says Ian Dutton, director of conservation measures at The Nature Conservancy. "Something like 53 percent of all of the protein for Indonesians comes from fish, and if those coral reefs are badly affected, the fish have no habitat to live in, and there is no food security there for the people,"
Other environmental problems is the destruction of farmland and forests and toxic chemicals washed out to sea.

Tsunami Page
WHO Situation Report
BBC, NY Times.
Mapping the Destruction (BBC News)
Other map links at U. Texas
Separatist groups in N. Sri Lanka and Aceh Province, Indonesia.

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last updated 21 Jan 2005