AbouTsunami

The world's most powerful earthquake in more than 40 years struck deep under the Indian Ocean off the west coast of Sumatra, the epicenter of Sunday's 9.0 magnitude, A violent movement of the Earth's tectonic plates displaced an enormous amount of water, sending powerful shock waves in every direction. quake triggering massive tsunamis that obliterated villages and seaside resorts in six countries across southern and Southeast Asia.

Tsunami (pronounced soo-NAH-mee) is a Japanese word. Tsunamis are fairly common in Japan and many thousands of Japanese have been killed by them in recent centuries. A tsunami is not a single wave but a series of waves, also known as a wave train. The first wave in a tsunami is not necessarily the most destructive. Tsunamis are not tidal waves.

The most damaging tsunami on record before 2004 was the one that killed an estimated 40,000 people in 1782 following an earthquake in the South China Sea. In 1883 some 36,500 people were killed by tsunamis in the South Java Sea, following the eruption of Indonesia's Krakatoa volcano. In northern Chile more than 25,000 people were killed by a tsunami in 1868.

District Summary of Displaced People
       
TOTAL
No of Welfare Centre
District Casualities Injured Missing Families Individual
Batticaloa
2731
1166
1081
54214
204060
100
Mullaitivu
1932
4817
3100
5927
22995
19
Jaffna V/E
849
656
1540
6788
29931
35
Amparai
13128
648
2643
34986
151339
57
Trincomalee
1079
2238
2100
50570
214380
69
Vavuniya
-
-
-
401
1400
6
Kilinochchi
560
645
56
10590
49173
11
Total
20279
10170
10520
163476
673278
297
TSunami Disaster statistics in Details update on 08.01.2005
As the tsunami crosses the deep ocean, its length from crest to crest may be a hundred miles or more, and its height from crest to trough will only be a few feet or less. They can not be felt aboard ships nor can they be seen from the air in the open ocean. In the deepest oceans, the waves will reach speeds exceeding 600 miles per hour (970 km/hr). When the tsunami enters the shoaling water of coastlines in its path, the velocity of its waves diminishes and the wave height increases. It is in these shallow waters that a large tsunami can crest to heights exceeding 100 feet (30 m) and strike with devastating force.

Sri Lanka's official death toll aftermath of the tsunami disaster today rose to 30,229 with over 3,500 people still missing, amidst pouring international relief and rescue assistance in terms of man and materials. According to the Social Services Ministry statistics, Amparai district was the worst hit area with 10436 deaths.

There is an average of two destructive tsunamis per year in the Pacific basin. Pacific wide tsunamis are a rare phenomenon, occurring every 10 - 12 years on the average
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