Sumatra Earthquake / Asia Tsunami

Now, this is a bit creepy. Since I wanted to read up on “Asteroid 2004 MN4”: – I found the “The New World-Wide Earthquake Locator”: only a few hours prior to the earthquake off the West coast of Northern Sumatra, that hit on 2004-12-26 at 00:58:50 UTC.

The Earthquake locator keeps a “list of earthquakes”: and they also have a “map of the earthquake”:
h3. Magnitude
The Sumatra Quake was measured to be 8.9 on the “Richter Magnitude scale”: making it “the fifth largest recorded earthquake since 1900”:
*Update:* The quake has been updated to be a 9.0 quake. “The Australian”:,5744,11790614%255E1702,00.html has more.
The Richter Magnitude scale measures the seismic energy released by an earthquake. To put this quake into perspective, energy-wise: A 8.5 quake releases energy equivalent to an explosion of 5 billion tons of TNT, while a 9.0 quake releases energy equivalent to 32 billion tons of TNT.
In comparison: The bomb dropped over Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945 had a yield of 20 000 tons (0.02 million tons of TNT)
*Update:* The largest magnitude earthquake recorded is the “Great Chilean Earthquake”: on May 22, 1960, with a measured magnitude of 9.5.
h3. Tsunami
Kenji Satake has an animated GIF showing “how the Tsunami spread”:
h3. Too many dead
According to this “Reuters story”: over 3100 are feared dead.
bq. A wall of water up to 10 meters (30 feet) high triggered by the 8.9 magnitude earthquake swept into Indonesia, over the coast of Sri Lanka and India and across southern Thai tourist islands, leaving up to 3,100 feared dead in seaside towns and villages.
*Update:* According to a “BBC story”: the death toll is now over 7300.
*Update 2:* According to “this story in Norwegian Dagbladet”: the death toll is now over 8 700. 4500 of these are in Sri Lanka, where more than one million people have become homeless due to the quake.
*Update 3:* The death toll is now “up to 22 000”: according to “CNN”: — note that these are the _confirmed dead_ — thousands are still missing.
*Update 4:* The death toll is now “more than 33 000”: — according to “CNN”:
*Update 5:* (2004-12-28 17:33:00) AFP is now reporting that “over 55 000 are dead”:
*Update 6:* (2004-12-29 21:16:00) AFP is now reporting that “over 80 000 have died”:
*Update 7:* (2004-12-30 16:44:00) The numbers, again according to AFP, now “nears 119 000”:
Wikipedia also has a good section on Damage and Casualties that is frequently updated.
h3. How to help?
While the humanitarian organizations haven’t yet updated their web sites to reflect this disaster, they probably are going to. You are encouraged to either contact a humanitarian organization, or donate.
* “International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent”:
* “International Committee of the Red Cross”: — “english site”:
* “International Medical Corps”:
* “Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres”:
D. Keith Robinson also keeps a list of “organizations”: that provide Asian Earthquake Relief.
h3. Are you missing someone?
If you are missing friends or family in the Tsunami disaster, and are looking for lists of missing persons on the web, you should instead contact an appropriate authority, as you are unlikely to find any authorative lists on the web. Appropriate authorities will usually be the ministry of foreign affairs, if you are not native to any of the countries struck by this disaster. If you are native to any of these countries, you should contact your local authorities and request help.
If you are missing someone on vacation in any of the affected countries, another viable alternative is to contact the travel agancy they were with, as they also may have information.
*Update:* (2004-12-29 01:53) There is now a “Tsunami Missing People Blog”: where you may post a missing person notice, or give notice that you are alive.
*Update:* (2004-12-29 17:53) Norwegian Citizens may report missing people through “VGs missing person service”:
In addition: If you are a Norwegian citizen, and you are in the East Asia region, and have no other opportunity to report to people back home that you are alive, you can use VG’s service to “report your whereabouts”:
h4. Hotline numbers
If you are missing someone, you can alternatively try the appropriate hotline number:
* *India:* +91 11 2309 3054
* *Maldives:* +44 20 7224 2149
* *Seychelles:* +248 321 676
* *Sri Lanka – residents:* +94 11 536 1938
* *Sri Lanka – tourists:* +94 11 243 7061
* *Thailand:* +66 2643 5262 and 2643 5000 ext 5003, 5002
h3. Historical disaster quakes
Searching NORSAR’s Earth Quake disaster search you can search for historical quakes from 365 AD until present day.
The search engine is in Norwegian, but search results are (mostly) in English. Mini-glossary, for the Norwegian-impaired:
* *Fra:* From
* *Til:* To
* *Minst antall omkomne:* Minimum death count
* *Dato:* Date
* *Styrke:* Magnitude (Richter)
* *Sted:* Location
* *Posisjon:* Geolocation
* *Drepte:* Killed
* *Annet:* Other
According to the search engine, the worst recorded natural disaster in recorded history was the 8.3 magnitude earthquake in the Shansi province of China, on January 23, 1556, killing 830 000 people.
h3. Further reading
h4. Earthquakes
* “Wikipedia: 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake”:
* “The Earthquake locator”:
* “Wikipedia: Earthquake”:
* “British Geological Survey information site”:
* “The Emergency Management site of Australia”: has a generalized list of earthquake resources
h4. Tsunamis
* “Wikipedia: Tsunami”:
* “International Tsunami Information Center”:
* “Live Science: The Megatsunami: Possible Modern Threat”:
* “USGS: Life of a Tsunami”:
h4. Current event searches
* “Google news search for ‘earthquake'”:
* “Google news search for ‘tsunami'”:
* “Google search for ‘sumatra earthquake'”:
* “Google search for ‘asia tsunami'”:
* “Feedster search for ‘earthquake'”: — “Feedster search as RSS”:
* “Technorati search for ‘earthquake'”:
h4. Other
* “The Tsunamihelp blog”:
I will make periodic updates to this post, but if you have additional links, feel free to add them below.

Leave a comment


  1. whatever

     /  2004-12-27

    FYI, american sources are calling this a 9.0 quake now. Thanks for listing the charity sites. Red Cross UK (and probably others) are now collecting for the victims of this disaster.

  2. i in sri lanka but out see ariya is very damad plz help us

  3. I can verify that Kushan’s message is genuine and posted from Sri Lanka.

  4. mikireynolds

     /  2004-12-29

    i am looking for my brother on vacation in thiland..lost contact his name is kevin cooper.
    please post.

  5. U.S. Citizens may call 1-888-407-4747 for information about the welfare and whereabouts of U.S. Citizens. See the “US Department of State”: for more info.
    Mr. Reynolds, I really wish I could do more.

  6. Alternatively, if you are missing someone, the “Tsunami Missing People”: blog may also be of assistance.

  7. Steve Clausen

     /  2004-12-30

    I am trying to find a friend that was in thialand,his name is: Jim Karas.

  8. Hilary Porteous

     /  2004-12-30

    Hello…I am trying to find an old friend of mine. He is Sumatran and would either have been on the Island of Bali or Sumatra during the quake/Tsunami. His name is Dion Hutabarat. He would be between the ages of 30-35. Dion speaks very good English and had hoped to become an English teacher. If you know who or where he is, please email me.
    Thank You.

    If you want to report someone as missing here — as the two previous posters have, you _must_ leave a _valid_ e-mail address in the “Email”-field of the posting form. I will, however, _not_ publish these e-mail addresses.
    If you know the whereabouts of any of the people listed here as missing — _do not post it to this page._ Instead, you should _send information by e-mail_ to my “current public contact address”:
    Whether you are posting to report someone missing, or you are e-mailing me regarding any of the missing persons, it is _vital_ that you include the following information:
    * Your full name
    * Your nationality
    * Your _valid_ e-mail address
    * The nationality of the missing person
    If you are responding to a missing person query here, you _must_ include the following:
    * Your full name
    * The ID of the comment you are e-mailing about.
    * All available means of contacting you (E-mail, telephone, and such)
    * If the appropriate authorities have been notified of the person’s whereabouts, it is *absolutely neccessary* that you tell me so.
    What you _should not_ include however, unless *absolutely neccessary* is _the details surrounding the missing person._
    Also, please note that *this page should be a last resort, and not the first thing you try.* Authorities in most countries have set up their dedicated hotlines which are _far better equipped than this single-person effort._
    Please be aware, that in addition to forwarding the details to the person who posted the original inquiry, I will forward information to an appropriate authority.

  10. Website Helps Tsunami Families Find Their Loved Ones.
    I would like to volunteer the use of my classified ads website as a tool for helping families to find their loved ones. I have setup the website so people can post FREE photo classified ads of Missing Tsunami Victims, orphans, unidentified victims, eyewitness reports, Tsunami Links and a self registration form for notifiying families. This website is setup to handle huge amounts of photo ads in an easy to use and navigate system which is state of the art. I was hoping I could help by reuniting some families or putting them in contact with eyewitnesses who may recognize their relative and know where they were or what happened to them.

  11. 100 % of probabilities that the earthquake over the M8 level happens in the Indonesian Sumatra offing earthquake occurrence times in the world[EarthquakeAlert]

    EarthquakeAlert SeismeAlerte -Mail conte

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