The 2004 Tsunami

On December 26, 2004, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit the Indian Ocean. This was one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded. This earthquake triggered a tsunami that led to death and damage in 14 countries.

At the time, the region did not have a large-scale tsunami warning system. As a result, more than 220,000 people in Southeast Asia were left dead or missing in the sudden floods.

As the giant waves approached, the Moken people sensed a change in the seas. They quickly moved to higher ground, but most of the Thai people and tourists remained by the ocean. Thousands of people were killed by waves as high as 30 feet tall.

Thailand is still rebuilding, and communities along the ocean are trying to get back to their regular lives.

In Khao Lak, I visited the Ban Nam Khem Tsunami Center. Here, volunteers and scientists have created a tsunami warning system. Sirens now announce the threat of a tsunami and evacuation plans are in place for each coastal community.

Simple steps like having a bag of supplies ready, or memorizing a home phone number and address, can help keep people safe in case of emergencies.

Are you prepared in case of a natural disaster?