Tsunamis . Oceans 11. What is a tsunami?. Tsunamis are defined as extremely large ocean waves triggered by underwater earthquakes, volcanic activities or landslides. The word tsunami was coined from the Japanese word " 津波 ", translating to "harbor wave" in English.
near deep ocean trenches
26th December 2004
Two tectonic plates, the Australian and Eurasian plates, meet just off Sumatra\'s south-west coast, grinding together and sending periodic seismic tremors through the region.
At 0059 GMT a violent rupture occurred on the sea floor along a fault about 1,000km long.
The 9.0 magnitude quake, which was the strongest in the world for at least 40 years, wreaked havoc across the whole region.
Walls of water, tens of metres high, slammed into coastal resorts thousands of miles apart.
Surging seas and floods were reported as far away as east Africa.
Low lying coastal areas were left obliterated and flooded as here in Aceh province in Sumatra, Indonesia
Reports indicate that the north and west coasts of Sumatra experienced the worst destruction
“Scale of devastation
Thousands are reported to have been killed, but there has been little news from the worst-hit areas where all transport and communication links were destroyed. “
Cuddalore, south of Madras, India
All that remains of luxury holiday accommodation on Phi Phi Island, Thailand