Author: Mary Knapp

December 26th marks the anniversary of the tsunami that struck the Indian ocean in 2004. The tsunami that occurred was the worst tsunami ever recorded, in terms of lives lost. An earthquake with a magnitude of 9.3 on the Richter scale struck off the northern west coast of Sumatra. The disturbance of the ocean floor resulted in a tsunami wave that inundated parts of Sumatra, Sri Lanka. The wave height reached 80 feet and more the 300,000 people were killed. The wave itself was measured around the globe on tidal sensors. In California, measurements exceeded 15 inches, while in New Jersey saw variations as great as 13 inches. Although rare, the Indian Ocean tsunami, serves as a reminder that nature holds many hazards. We do well to review the dangers inherent in our area as well.

Tsunami cross-section (USGS/public domain)

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library