On Sunday, 26 December 2004, at 00:58 UTC (07:58 local at the epicenter), a great earthquake occurred 250 km south-west of Banda Aceh in northern Sumatra, Indonesia. With a moment magnitude of 9.0 or possibly greater (Stein and Okal, 2005), it was one of the largest instrumentally recorded earthquakes in history. The earthquake generated a large tsunami that caused extreme inundation and destruction along the northern and western coasts of Sumatra, as seen in the cities of Banda Aceh and Meulaboh. Within hours the tsunami devastated the distant shores of Thailand to the east as well as those...

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