2004 Indian Ocean earthquake

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Epicentres and affected coasts
The tsunami hit the coast of Thailand near Ao Nang .
Arrival of the second tsunami wave in Phuket , Thailand. The tsunami waves that reached Phuket were up to six meters high and therefore average in size compared to waves with which the tsunami hit other places.

The earthquake in the Indian Ocean  - also known as the Sumatran-Andaman quake - on December 26, 2004 at 00:58  UTC (07:58 local time in western Indonesia and Thailand ) was an undersea megathrust earthquake with a magnitude of 9, 1 and the epicenter 85 km off the northwest coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra . It was the third strongest quake ever recorded and triggered a series of devastating tsunamis on the shores of the Indian Ocean . Tourists spent their Christmas holidays on many stretches of coast; There were many people on the beaches for sunbathing and swimming. In total, around 230,000 people died as a result of the quake and its aftermath, around 165,000 of them in Indonesia alone. Over 110,000 people were injured, and over 1.7 million coastal residents around the Indian Ocean were left homeless. The event was exceptionally well documented as many vacationers had a video or digital camera on hand.

A Thai Coast Guard boat that was washed 1.8 kilometers inland.

Origin and strength

Simulation of the tsunami spread over the Indian Ocean within a few hours

root cause

Off Sumatra , the Nicobar Islands and the Andamans , the Indo-Australian Plate , which covers a large part of the Indian Ocean , pushes in an approx. 1,000 km long fracture zone with an average of about 33 mm per year in a northeastern direction under the Eurasian plate . As the plate boundaries were infiltrated, tensions built up in the subduction zone , which suddenly discharged with earthquakes.

This earthquake was possibly directly triggered by a quake two days earlier at the other end of the Indo-Australian plate. This "strongest earthquake in the region since 1924" had a magnitude of 8.1; the epicenter was between Australia and Antarctica, around 500 kilometers north of Macquarie Island . "One can guess that the quake on one side of the plate caused an unbalanced situation on the other side, which led to this huge undersea earthquake in Asia," said Cvetan Sinadinovski of the Geoscience Australia Institute in Canberra. The experts still do not fully agree on this.


The earthquake off Sumatra, with a strength of 9.1 ( M w ) and a released energy of around 475 megatons of TNT, is the third strongest earthquake recorded at the time in history. In February 2005, geologists at Northwestern University, after analyzing global seismograph records, came out in favor of correcting the magnitude of the quake from 9.0 to 9.3. This would make the quake three times stronger than previously assumed and the second strongest since seismic measurements began. However, the earlier measurements (then on the Richter scale ) can only be compared to a limited extent with today's methods of torque magnitude . The correction has not been confirmed in this form by authorities such as the USGS . The USGS changed the magnitude in July 2006 from M w 9.0 to M w 9.1.

Tsunami and aftershocks

After a wave trough had first reached the coast in many areas , at least two, in some places up to six tidal waves with rising wave heights hit the coasts and penetrated several kilometers inland, sometimes with great devastating effects.

Between the quake and the first tsunami waves passed between 20 minutes (in Indonesia and on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands), two hours (Thailand, Sri Lanka), 2-6 hours (India, Myanmar and Bangladesh) and more than six hours (Somalia, South Africa). The speed of the water pressure wave on the sea was, as is typical for a tsunami, several hundred kilometers per hour before it decreased in speed with flattening sea depth or with reaching the coast.

Between the individual waves, the water flooded back to the sea and also developed typical effects of pushing: taking away objects and people that could swim. Most of the gross damage to homes, however, was caused by the advancing waves. The streets in built-up areas literally became canals, in which a conglomerate of water, cars and building rubble flowed first inland and then back towards the sea.

Over the next few days, around 25 aftershocks with magnitudes of around 5.5 followed daily . At the Nicobar Islands, an aftershock with a magnitude of 7.1 occurred three hours after the main quake. A large aftershock in the region occurred three months later on March 28, 2005 with a magnitude of 8.7 on Sumatra (see earthquake before Sumatra 2005 ), and a little later also on Nias .

Wave heights or rise in water

Coast of Leupung after the tsunami in Aceh Province , Indonesia
Southwest suburb of Banda Aceh , Indonesia. In the upper part of the picture the coast or the sea can be seen. Lhoknga was or is
there . U.S. Navy photo dated Jan. 2, 2005.

Geophysical Consequences

Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory suspect that the shifting tectonic plates may have accelerated the Earth's rotation . Due to the mass of the earth moved during the quake, it can be calculated that the length of one day was 2.68 microseconds shorter. In addition, the earth's axis shifted by around two and a half centimeters due to the changed mass distribution. However, the experts do not classify the changes as significant, since the earth's poles would have a variable circular orbit of around ten meters anyway. Furthermore, the Eurasian plate was lifted one centimeter and shifted two centimeters to the north, but slipped back into its original position after a few minutes.

Another consequence of the shifting of the tectonic plates is the sinking of 15 smaller of the 572 islands of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands below sea level. In addition, the Nicobar Islands and the Simeuluë Island, which is closest to the epicenter off the northwest coast of Sumatra, were shifted about 15 meters in a south-westerly direction.

Deaths and destruction

States directly or indirectly affected by the tsunami
  • States with high infrastructure damage and fatalities within their own national borders
  • States with moderate infrastructure damage and fatalities within their own national borders
  • States with moderate infrastructure damage and no fatalities within their own national borders
  • States without infrastructure damage, with their own fatalities outside their own national borders
  • The exact number of deaths cannot be determined. For fear of epidemics , many victims were quickly buried in mass graves without an exact count . People fell victim to both the direct impact of the tidal waves and their consequences. Almost all drinking water sources in the affected areas were contaminated by the accident.

    Coastline near Banda Aceh , Indonesia. Over 25,000 people died there alone. U.S. Navy photo dated Jan. 2, 2005.

    Deaths (including foreigners) in the countries directly affected by the tsunami

    country Dead (Confirmed) Dead (estimated) Injured Missing homeless people
    IndonesiaIndonesia Indonesia 131,029 168.029 76,712 ≈ 37,000 514.150
    Sri LankaSri Lanka Sri Lanka 35,322 35,322-38,940 23,189 4,093 516.150
    IndiaIndia India 12,407 16,281 k. A. 5640 647,599
    ThailandThailand Thailand 5.395 7,876 8,457 2932 8,500
    SomaliaSomalia Somalia 298 298 k. A. k. A. 4,000
    MyanmarMyanmar Myanmar 61 400-600 43 - 2,592
    MaldivesMaldives Maldives 82 108 1,113 26th 11,568
    MalaysiaMalaysia Malaysia 69 74 767 5 4,296
    TanzaniaTanzania Tanzania 10 10 - - -
    SeychellesSeychelles Seychelles 3 3 - - -
    BangladeshBangladesh Bangladesh 2 2 - - -
    KenyaKenya Kenya 1 1 - - -
    United KingdomUnited Kingdom Diego Garcia 1 1 - - -

    Deaths by nationality (13 out of 58 states affected)

    Nationality Dead (Confirmed) Dead (estimated) Missing
    IndonesiaIndonesia Indonesia 130.736 ≈ 37,000
    Sri LankaSri Lanka Sri Lanka 31,229 35,322-38,940 4,093
    IndiaIndia India 10,749 3,874
    ThailandThailand Thailand 5,395 2,817
    SwedenSweden Sweden 543
    GermanyGermany Germany 539
    SomaliaSomalia Somalia 176 136
    FinlandFinland Finland 179
    United KingdomUnited Kingdom Great Britain 143
    MaldivesMaldives Maldives 82 26th
    SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland 106
    FranceFrance France 95
    AustriaAustria Austria 86

    Asian states


    In Bangladesh , two children drowned because a boat capsized in stormy seas. According to reports from the Red Crescent , only relatively minor damage was reported, but the telecommunications connections were cut off.

    Indian east coast, MODIS
    In the right picture you can see the blue floodplains on the coast


    Along with Sri Lanka and Indonesia, India was hardest hit with 16,389 dead and missing, and 647,599 people became homeless.

    In the Andaman and Nicobar Islands there were 3,500 deaths and more than 25,000 people were left homeless.

    There were no confirmed reports of dead foreigners or tourists (" The Hindu, " December 29, 2004). Contrary to initial speculation by news agencies that entire tribes on the islands may have been wiped out, teams from the Anthropological Survey of India (ASI) who had taken boats to the Andaman Islands reported that the indigenous people there had correctly interpreted the signs of nature and fled to the higher areas. According to the researchers, there are only a few deaths among the indigenous people.

    However, other sources reported with regard to the natives of the Nicobar Islands that many of the tribes native to these islands lost almost all of their old people and children to the quake, as they were in the villages on the beach during the tidal wave, while all able-bodied men and women in the higher Cultivated the fields of the villages inside the island. A large part of their culture is said to have been lost as a result, as their cultural knowledge also died with the village elders.

    7,793 deaths alone (as of June 4, 2005) are said to have occurred in the state of Tamil Nadu . 206 people were killed in Chennai (formerly Madras). The huts of around 1,500 fishermen and their relatives were destroyed. Almost 600 people drowned in Cuddalore . The worst hit, however, was Nagapattinam district , where the waves reached a height of around six meters. Around 5,500 people died here alone. Aerial photos, pictures, texts and relief measures came from the district, which was badly affected with almost 1,000 deaths.

    The Indian government announced an aid package worth the equivalent of 482 million euros for the affected coasts. India refused foreign aid because, according to the authorities, it could deal with the problems on its own.

    A boat that was washed onto a roof in Aceh province.


    Officially confirmed by the government in Indonesia , about 131,029 victims are. More than 25,000 people died in the provincial capital Banda Aceh alone .

    In Meulaboh , another city with around 120,000 inhabitants, more than 40,000 people died in six meter high floods.

    This makes Indonesia the hardest hit country by the earthquake and tsunami. For a long time it was assumed that there were more than 220,000 victims, but the number of missing persons has been revised downwards significantly.

    Civil war raged in the province of Aceh until 2005, although a ceasefire was immediately agreed by both parties in the face of the disaster. The region has been completely isolated by the Indonesian government, which made the relief work extremely difficult. Although the region was opened for relief operations, over 180,000 people were still homeless a year after the quake.

    A German early warning system has now been installed off the Indonesian coast . This system delivers data in real time and therefore ensures the fastest possible advance warning times. The system was installed in the region of the Sunda Arc , the geologically most sensitive region, where the earthquake of Christmas 2004 also originated.


    The Malaysian holiday island of Penang was also affected, where 68 people were torn into the sea by the tidal waves. Foreigners were also among the dead.

    According to Channel News Asia, there was a death on the island group Pulau Langkawi .


    Two thirds of the Maldives main island Malé was flooded, the Maldives international airport was temporarily closed. Some atolls were completely flooded and buildings were washed into the sea. The state of emergency was declared. According to authorities, there were at least 80 fatalities in the Maldives. According to information from December 30, 2004, the entire infrastructure on 13 of the 202 native islands was destroyed. A total of 29 of the 87 resort islands were damaged, 23 were temporarily closed, six of which suffered considerable damage. According to information from January 10, 2005, nine islands in the Maldives were no longer habitable.


    According to a UN report, 61 people died in Myanmar , formerly Burma . The south-eastern coast of the country is affected, with the Tanintharyi Division and the Irrawaddy Delta most affected . However, there is little news from Myanmar as the ruling military regime censors all streams of news. The United Nations World Food Program feared that there were many more deaths than officially admitted. Hundreds of fishermen are said to have perished.


    There were no injuries in Singapore itself and the island was only slightly affected by the quake. However, nine Singaporean deaths have been confirmed in Sri Lanka and Phuket.

    Sri Lanka

    Victims in Matara , on the south coast of Sri Lanka , on December 27, 2004.

    Sri Lanka was severely affected by the natural disaster.

    AGSEP delegation in Mullaitivu in January, 2005
    Destroyed house near Mount Lavinia

    The authorities assume around 31,000 to 38,000 victims. The east and south of the island were particularly affected:

    The tidal wave also triggered the Peraliya railway accident , which, with well over 1,000 casualties among passengers and railway employees, is considered the worst train accident in history .

    A particular problem arose from the 2,000,000 anti-personnel mines which were buried on the beach during the civil war between the government and the Tamil movement, which was striving for autonomy, and which have now been washed out of the ground. Areas already marked as mine-free now posed a potential threat again.

    A ship that was lifted ashore by the tsunami near Ko Phuket .


    In Thailand , the coast on the Andaman Sea, which has been developed for tourism , was particularly affected by the tidal waves, in particular the holiday centers of Khao Lak and Ko Phuket and the island of Ko Phi Phi . 407 villages were flooded, 47 of which were completely destroyed. The death toll is estimated at over 8,000, including around a third foreign tourists. The government's estimate is 5395 dead and 2932 missing. The World Bank estimates the total economic damage to be two billion dollars. Unlike most of the other affected countries, the Thai government did not officially request international assistance after the tsunami, but the government-led relief efforts were judged to be effective overall.

    African states


    On the East African coast of Kenya there was one fatality, a swimmer from the Kenyan holiday resort Malindi .

    According to eyewitnesses, the sea level is said to have suddenly risen by at least two meters and the wave flooded the beaches. Fortunately for the many beach holidaymakers from the Kenyan cities, the security forces were able to arrange for the evacuation of most of the beaches in good time.


    There were three fatalities in the Seychelles when a fishing boat capsized. Since the Seychelles are mainly surrounded by coral reefs, the tidal wave caused only minor damage to property here. There was minimal flooding on the main island of Mahé , as the water level in the area of ​​the port of Victoria rose briefly by one meter. The tsunami also destroyed roads and bridges in some areas of Praslin and La Digue .


    The president's spokesman confirmed the recovery of over 200 bodies; at least 150 people were missing. The coastal city of Hafun was completely destroyed. According to the UN World Food Program (WFP), citing Somali government agencies, 30,000 to 50,000 Somalis needed help in the coastal cities of the Puntland region .


    The Dar es Salaam police spokesman confirmed ten dead. An unknown number of other people are missing at sea.

    Dependent areas


    Property damage occurred on the island of Reunion Island (east of Madagascar ), which belongs to France . No deaths were reported.

    Chagos Archipelago (Diego Garcia)

    According to military spokesmen, there was no relevant damage on the Chagos Archipelago (south of the Maldives ), a British territory in the Indian Ocean , on whose largest island, Diego Garcia, there is a military base for the United States and Great Britain .

    Cocos (Keeling) Islands

    The Cocos Islands belonging to Australia (located south of the quake) only reached a 50 cm high wave (source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation ).

    Victims from non-neighboring countries

    Memorial stone for the tsunami victims from Berlin and Brandenburg at the Tempelhof village church

    Around 2,240 people from non-neighboring countries died in the tsunami. Most of these were vacationers from industrialized countries. Sweden and Germany were particularly hard hit. 537 victims from Germany were identified.

    Among the victims were the German actress Manuela Brandenstein , the Australian Australian rules footballer Troy Broadbridge , the Norwegian jazz musician Sigurd Køhn , the Swiss writer Otto Marchi , the Finnish musician Aki Sirkesalo , the Norwegian actor and musician Are Storstein , the Swedish musician Mieszko Talarczyk , British journalist and writer Robert Whymant , and Australian actress Audrey Jane Holland (wife of Leo McKern ), who passed away with her great-granddaughter Lucy Holland and the wife of her grandson, Jane Attenborough (daughter of Richard Attenborough ) .


    As a result of the many deaths in connection with the hot climate, there were fears that epidemics such as typhus or cholera could break out . Therefore, mass graves were dug in many places and corpses were burned.

    Other common problems included pneumonia from contaminated water getting into the airways and sepsis , because wounds are more susceptible to infection in a warm, humid climate .

    Ecological damage

    In addition to the deaths and damage to the infrastructure, the tsunami also caused long-term ecological damage. The coral reefs, which act as natural breakwaters, appear to be suffering severe damage off the Thai coast. Off Thailand, around 10% of the reefs examined are damaged by the water pressure and debris carried along. The thrown up mud that covers the corals is also problematic. A possible recovery can only be expected after years, if at all. The mangrove forests on some coasts, which are also protective , have also been damaged. However, they are capable of much faster regeneration. Nesting areas for sea ​​turtles such as leatherback turtles are also affected .

    Big tsunami of 2004 when it hit the Maldivian coast

    The most serious long-term damage resulted from the extensive removal of the humus in the flooded areas. The affected coastal strip is 250 to 3,000 meters wide, the humus layer of which, often only 30 centimeters thick, has been torn away, along with many plants that do not have deep roots. What remains is mostly nutrient-poor, reddish laterite soil made of clay , aluminum and iron oxide . Since the cycle of plants, dead plant parts and humus formation is initially interrupted, it will probably take decades for species communities similar to those that existed before the disaster to emerge. Agriculture is also badly affected by the erosion of topsoil, and lower harvests in the medium term must be assumed; Soil improvement measures such as the input of organic material and nutrients can improve the situation, but sometimes require financial help.

    Cultural damage

    In some of the affected regions, historical buildings, school buildings, museums, archives and other cultural assets have been destroyed or damaged. After the emergency and rescue measures and in parallel with the general reconstruction work, national and regional authorities tried, with the support of external specialist organizations, such as UNESCO, to record the cultural losses.

    Criticism of the lack of an advance warning system

    After the quake, experts criticized the fact that there was no tsunami warning system in the Indian Ocean, as there was in the Pacific Ocean at that time. According to her, several thousand people could have been saved with such a warning system. The fact that the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii predicted a tidal wave minutes after the quake didn't help anyone. There was a lack of possible contact persons and communication infrastructures in the federal states. In the event of aftershocks in the region, however, the authorities were able to disseminate warnings more quickly thanks to increased awareness.

    Shortly after the disaster, the Federal Republic of Germany offered technical support in developing and setting up a tsunami early warning system in the Indian Ocean. Germany and Indonesia have been officially working together on the installation of this system ( German Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System , GITEWS) since March 14, 2005 . It started operating on November 11, 2008.

    International aid


    In many places all communication links were interrupted for several days. Radio amateurs took immediately after the disaster the Notfunkbetrieb and initiated emergency calls and situation reports and later messages from survivors to relatives on.

    Direct disaster relief and repatriation of tourists

    Sweden , Finland and Norway flew more than 3500 vacationers from the disaster area on December 27th. Embassy staff were at Phuket airport on the morning of December 27, helping citizens, particularly by issuing replacement passports for vacationers who had lost their papers in the tsunami. The then Finnish President provided the presidential plane with which the injured were brought to Helsinki.

    The German Ministry of Defense sent the task force provider (EGV) " Berlin ", with a marine rescue center (MERZ) that is equipped like a small hospital and can accommodate 45 patients. Officials of the BKA and medical officers of the Bundeswehr were on site to help identify the victims. The army sent on December 29, a medevac - Airbus A310 for intensive care and collection of German tourists in the affected Thai Phuket . A total of 130 mainly German people were flown out of the disaster area on 3 flights. Another Airbus A310 MRT was equipped with the MedEvac configuration and was ready for use in the middle of the first week of January. In addition, a rescue center was easily set up and put into operation by the Rapid Emergency Medical Service Command (Kdo SES) in Banda Aceh . 120 German Bundeswehr soldiers who worked closely with the EGV “Berlin” were on duty there. In the rescue center Leicht (RZ le) there was not only an emergency room but also an operating theater and opportunities for intensive care . In a press conference on December 29th, Federal Chancellor Schröder announced that additional units of the Bundeswehr would be deployed in the disaster area, if necessary for a longer period of time. In particular, the construction and operation of drinking water treatment plants is to be taken over by soldiers in order to supplement the work of civil aid organizations and to meet the great demand. This promise was realized and used.

    The German Technical Relief Organization (THW) was in Sri Lanka with a three-person investigation team from December 27th. From December 28th, SEEBA was in Phuket, Thailand with 19 helpers to support the rescue work there. In the Galle district , Sri Lanka, 16 helpers from SEEWA were there to operate two drinking water treatment plants . 23 helpers were sent to the Maldives on December 31st to ensure the drinking water supply with mobile devices and to repair the destroyed infrastructure. Another team with 42 helpers was in Banda Aceh and Seulimum from January 7th with several drinking water treatment plants with a capacity of more than 200,000 liters and to repair the destroyed infrastructure, with the drinking water supply of the population, the refugees and the central hospital in particular was seized in Banda Aceh.

    The regional doctor in Cairo from the Foreign Office was dispatched to Thailand and within three days ensured the evacuation of around 300 seriously injured people with a plane belonging to the Federal Air Force. Both LTU and Lufthansa and Condor launched relief and repatriation flights of tourists to and from the region. Aid goods were flown to and from the injured and affected tourists. Employees of the medical service of LTU, Lufthansa and Frankfurt Airport were involved in these actions by the Foreign Office's crisis team. Doctors from Fraport and Lufthansa were on site; CISM teams supervised a. affected passengers. Crew members who had been deployed on these evacuation flights were looked after by CISM teams.

    South Korean armed forces cleaning up in Thailand

    Employees from Caritas , Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe and Malteser Hilfsdienst organized first aid such as food, drinking water, hygiene articles and emergency shelters for 50,000 victims in the southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh . The local partners are also on site in Sri Lanka and Thailand , but now to carry out reconstruction.

    Great Britain sent identification experts from Scotland Yard and several hundred soldiers to the region, particularly to Sri Lanka. The Royal Air Force began fleeing tourists on December 27, including four Aeromed ( MedEvac ) Lockheed-Tristar aircraft and chartered Russian transport aircraft. In addition, on January 2, a Royal Navy fleet with relief supplies, technical equipment and helicopters arrived off the coast of Sri Lanka.

    The Republic of Austria sent police officers and rescue workers to Thailand and Sri Lanka to help locate missing persons and bring the injured home, as well as Cobra men and forensic doctors to help identify people. The armed forces also sent an AFDRU contingent to Sri Lanka, which supported the local population with drinking water treatment systems and paramedics. The Austrian Red Cross and the ASB sent a fact-finding mission to the disaster area on December 27th and 28th to help the Austrian tourists for the time being and then to sound out further possibilities for help. The Red Cross was particularly active in the field of drinking water treatment . The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva provided a database in which all missing persons had to be listed by name before they could be searched for.

    The Swiss Air Rescue Rega has repatriated over 60 patients from Thailand and Sri Lanka in cooperation with various insurance companies . The Swiss Humanitarian Aid Corps (formerly known as the Swiss Disaster Relief Corps ) sent teams of experts and medical material to India, Sri Lanka and Thailand on December 28th, under the direction of the Directorate for Development and Cooperation (SDC) of the Swiss Foreign Ministry . The expert teams should clarify which other specialists (doctors, psychologists, dog teams, construction specialists, etc.) were needed on site.

    The USS Abraham Lincoln follows the hospital ship USNS Mercy in February 2005, in the coastal area of ​​the Indian Ocean
    US helicopter, of Carrier Air Wing Two as part of US Operation Unified Assistance , distributing food after the tsunami in Southeast Asia.

    The USA ordered the aircraft carrier group around the " USS Abraham Lincoln " from Hong Kong to Sumatra, where from January 2, 2005 the soldiers and the helicopters helped with the supply of the population. Another ship formation was ordered to the area around Sri Lanka. The medical facilities on the ships (operating theaters on aircraft carriers, etc.) were able to relieve the hospitals in the area.

    Soldiers of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces on the relief mission after the tsunami

    Japan sent various units of its self-defense forces to the crisis region. According to the government, the 20-person investigation team could have been increased to up to 800 members, the head of state promised. These forces were completely withdrawn and rendered their service.

    On January 2, 2005, France dispatched the helicopter carrier Jeanne d'Arc to the crisis area.

    The organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF) sent a charter plane with 32 tons of relief supplies from Ostend to Sumatra . The delivery included medical and sanitary supplies that had to be enough for 30,000 to 40,000 people. In addition, an emergency team consisting of six people traveled to the region. These included water experts, logisticians and medical professionals (source: Kurier ).

    On December 28th, the Greek aid organization ESEPA set out for Colombo in order to transfer aid material and donated goods together with other aid organizations.

    In addition, the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior was on its way to the west coast of Sumatra in support of Doctors Without Borders from January 4, 2005 to provide logistical support for their deployment in the disaster area on Aceh. It brought food, helicopter fuel, medical equipment, medicines, and medical professionals to the hard-to-reach crisis region.

    Financial support from donor countries and institutions

    The following information is from unknown sources. It must be taken into account that some of the estimates must be rough and a distinction must also be made between aid funds that were initially promised and those that actually flowed.

    Country / institution Amounts in millions of euros
    state Private all in all Share of GDP
    IMF 735 - 735
    Australia 600 45 645
    Germany 500 502.5 1002.5 0.04%
    European Commission 500 - 500
    Japan 370 k. A. 370
    Canada 324.08 (425 USD) 93.61 ($ 123) 447 0.05%
    United States 260 (350 USD) 152.30 ($ 200) 412
    Netherlands 230 115 345
    Great Britain 73.06 ($ 96) 143.84 ($ 189) 216
    World bank 190.26 ($ 250) - 190
    Norway 135 41 175 0.085%
    Asian Development Bank 133.18 (175 USD) - 133
    Kuwait 76.05 ($ 100) k. A. 76
    Italy 112 (146 USD) 69.05 181
    Sweden 59 40 99
    France 49 45 94
    United Arab Emirates 30th 62.36 92
    Switzerland 17.3 143 (224 CHF) 160
    Austria 8.8 (originally promised: 50) 20th 28.8
    and other countries
    total ≈ 4.8 billion >> 1.5 billion 6.3 billion

    Identification of victims in Thailand

    The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies of the ICRC directed the “relief operations in non-armed forces, for example in the event of natural disasters” on an international scale, coordinated the aid and took on the task of administering a database for the registration of all missing persons. They were supported by the semi-official organization THAICAREYOU , through which the possible identity of the victims was determined on the basis of clothing and details. The results were then passed on to the on-site identification commissions made up of police forces . Using DNA samples and comparing the dental status (requested from the victim's dentist via the relatives or search godparents), the identity could often be confirmed beyond doubt. This was then reported back to the ICRC, which then took over notifying relatives and friends either directly or through government agencies . Many affiliated emergency services provided private and voluntary support to the investigative authorities on site.


    In 2006 the television film Tsunami - Die Killerwelle was released , which tells of the tsunami of December 26, 2004 and its consequences in the Thai region. It is a co-production between HBO and the BBC.

    In the melodramatic film The Impossible, which was released in 2012, Juan Antonio Bayona deals with the experiences of the Spanish woman María Belón and her family during the tsunami.


    Web links

    Commons : Indian Ocean Earthquake 2004  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files


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    17. a b Tsunami Mortality Estimates and Vulnerability Mapping in Aceh, Indonesia ( Memento from June 26, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 465 kB)
    18. http://www.tsunamimaldives.mv/?action=situationAssesment Victims in the Maldives
    19. Gerald Traufetter: ETHNOLOGY: Window into the past . In: Der Spiegel . No. 45 , 2005 ( online - October 10, 2005 , the tsunami wiped out large parts of their culture. Tribal leaders from the Nicobar archipelago are therefore looking for their roots in the Vienna Ethnographic Museum).
    20. ^ HAZ January 20, 2005
    21. ^ AP, January 3, 2005
    22. chennaionline.com
    23. visitmaldives.com.mv, January 1, 2005
    24. ↑ Daily foam report on the Maldives in the tagesschau.de archive
    25. ^ Tsunami Thailand, One Year Later, National Response and the Contribution of International Partners : Report of the World Bank
    26. Earthquake / Tsunami Victims Relief Efforts ( Memento from August 26, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 226 kB): Information from the Thai Interior Ministry
    27. Scott Foster, Robert Windrem: Tsunami spares US base in Diego Garcia. NBC News, msnbc.com, January 5, 2005, accessed December 26, 2015 .
    28. 'Put my ashes with girls I lost in tsunami': Lord Attenborough's moving last plea to be buried with daughter and granddaughter who died in 2004 tragedy
    29. German Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System: New type of tsunami early warning system goes into operation. Press release of November 11, 2008. PDF 42 kB
    30. BKA employees on site
    31. THW on site (search term: "Maldives")
    32. THW press release of January 17, 2005
    33. State Medical Association Hesse: Hessisches Ärzteblatt 02/2005 (PDF; 209 kB) ( Memento from January 31, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
    34. Deutsches Ärzteblatt, vol. 102, issue 3, January 21, 2005 (PDF; 85 kB)
    35. Swiss rescue service on site
    36. ESEPA newsletter archive Greek forces on site ( Memento from September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
    37. ^ Greek. Civil Defense ( Memento from September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
    38. Der Standard : Audit report on tsunami aid: three quarters of the funds not paid out , December 15, 2007
    39. www.imdb.com
    40. chbeck.de ( Memento from October 19, 2013 in the Internet Archive ).