The December 26, 2004 magnitude 9.1 Northern Sumatra, Indonesia earthquake (3.316 N, 95.854 E, depth 30 km) generated a tsunami that was observed worldwide and caused tremendous devastation and deaths throughout the Indian Ocean region. The earthquake itself, the third largest in the world since 1900, caused severe damage and casualties in northern Sumatra, Indonesia, and in the Nicobar Islands, India. International tsunami survey teams with experts from many countries surveyed the coasts of almost all of the Indian Ocean countries that were affected by the tsunami.
This dataset depicts a model run of predicted tsunami wave heights from the Center for Tsunami Research at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory. It shows the predicted maximum wave heights of the tsunami as it travels across the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific basins. The largest wave heights occur closest to the epicenter near Sumatra. The wave decreases in height as it travels across open water but grows taller as it encounters shallower waters near coast areas.
This tsunami was more deadly than any other tsunami in recorded history, with 227,899 dead or missing. The worst hit country was Indonesia with 167,540 listed as dead or missing and damages of $4,451.6 million. The remaining fatalities occurred in Sri Lanka (35,322), India (16,269), Thailand (8,212), Somalia (289), Maldives (108), Malaysia (75), Myanmar (61), Tanzania (13), Bangladesh (2), Seychelles (2), South Africa (2), Yemen (2), Kenya (1), and Madagascar (1). The total estimated material losses in the Indian Ocean region were $10 billion and insured losses were $2 billion.