December 26, 2004 The Sumatra Earthquake & Tsunami. Nick D’Anna Plainedge Schools. Great Wave off the Coast of Kanagawa, by Hokusai This print is somewhat misleading in that tsunamis do not always manifest themselves as the huge breaking waves. What is a tsunami?.
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This print is somewhat misleading in that tsunamis do not always manifest themselves as the huge breaking waves.
radially from the point of thrust. A tsunami wave can travel enormous distances. The Dec. 26th tsunami eventually made its way to the pacific ocean and noticeably affected the sea on the west coast of the US.
A great earthquake occurred at 00:58:50 (UTC), at 6:58 a.m. local time, on Sunday, 26 December 2004. The magnitude 9.0 event was located off the West coast of Northern Sumatra.
This is the fourth largest earthquake in the world since 1900 and is the largest since the 1964 Prince William Sound, Alaska earthquake. The earthquake had a depth of 10 km
At Sumatra, the Indian plate was subducted beneath the overriding Burma plate. The Indian plate begins its decent into the mantle at the Sundra trench (west of the epicenter). The relative motion of the two plates has been 6cm/yr.
Image curtsey of Eric Cohen
Tsunami Warning Systems do exist. Unfortunately, there was no such system in place among the nations around the Indian Ocean. Within 15 minutes of the megaquake, officials from the PTWC were calling nations in danger to warn them. The information was slow to get to the locations in greatest risk.
There are currently two tsunami warning centers for Canada and the US: