The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea mega thrust earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on Sunday, December 26, 2004, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The quake itself is known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake. The resulting tsunami is given various names, including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Asian Tsunami, Indonesian Tsunami. CAUSES
The earthquake was caused by subduction and triggered a series of devastating tsunamis along the coasts of most landmasses bordering the Indian Ocean, killing over 230,000 people in fourteen countries, and inundating coastal communities with waves up to 30 meters (100 feet) high. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. Indonesia was the hardest hit, followed by Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand. With a magnitude of between 9.1 and 9.3, it is the third largest earthquake ever recorded on a seismograph. This earthquake had the longest duration of faulting ever observed, between 8.3 and 10 minutes. It caused the entire planet to vibrate as much as 1 cm (0.4 inches) and triggered other earthquakes as far away as Alaska. Its hypocenter was between Simeulue and mainland Indonesia. The hypocentre of the main earthquake was approximately 160 km (100 mi), in the Indian Ocean just north of Simeulue island, off the western coast of northern Sumatra, at a depth of 30 km (19 mi) below mean sea level (initially reported as 10 km). The northern section of the Sunda megathrust, which had been assumed dormant, ruptured; the rupture having a length of 1300 km. The size of the rupture caused plate shifting of up to 20 m, causing the earthquake (followed by the tsunami) to be felt simultaneously as far away as Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore and the Maldives. Seismographic and acoustic data indicate that the first phase involved a rupture about 400 km (250 mi) long and 100 km...
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