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BIREUEN, Indonesia, (AFP) - A global relief effort was underway after the world's worst earthquake in 40 years triggered monstrous tidal waves which killed more than 14,000 people across southern and southeast Asia.
With the death toll constantly rising as dawn revealed the full scale of the catastrophe, governments pledged millions in aid and despatched naval ships, military aircraft and soldiers on rescue and relief operations.
The United Nations rushed disaster teams to the region, saying hundreds of thousands of people in coastal areas remained at risk, with livelihoods from fishing and farming wiped out and disease threatening to wreak more havoc.
Preliminary Earthquake Report
U.S. Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center
World Data Center for Seismology, Denver
A great earthquake occurred at 00:58:50 (UTC) on Sunday, December 26, 2004. The magnitude 9.0 event has been located OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)
Date-Time Sunday, December 26, 2004 at 00:58:50 (UTC)
= Coordinated Universal Time
Sunday, December 26, 2004 at 6:58:50 AM
= local time at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 3.298°N, 95.779°E
Depth 10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program
Region OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA
250 km (155 miles) SSE of Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
320 km (200 miles) W of Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia
1260 km (780 miles) SSW of BANGKOK, Thailand
1605 km (1000 miles) NW of JAKARTA, Java, Indonesia
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 9.2 km (5.7 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters Nst=157, Nph=157, Dmin=>999 km, Rmss=1.35 sec, Gp= 29°,
M-type=moment magnitude (Mw), Version=9
Source USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event ID usslav
Felt Reports At least 3,000 people killed in Sri Lanka, 2,300 in India, 2,000 in Indonesia, 289 in Thailand, 42 in Malaysia, 8 in Somalia and 2 in Bangladesh by tsunamis. Tsunamis also occurred on the coasts of Maldives and Cocos Island. At least 200 people killed, buildings destroyed or damaged in the Banda Aceh area, Sumatra. Felt widely in Sumatra. Also felt in Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand. This is now the fourth largest earthquake in the world since 1900 and is the largest since the 1964 Prince William Sound, Alaska earthquake.
JAKARTA (Reuters) - More than 200 prisoners escaped from a jail in Indonesia's restive Aceh province Sunday after a tsunami knocked down the prison walls, a police official said.
Ali Taruna Jaya, police chief in the town of Pidie, said a few of the 204 inmates who fled from the coastal jail had given themselves up.
"The prisoners escaped from the jail. It appears some did it for their own safety after the tsunami crashed into the jail," Jaya told Metro TV.
LONDON (AFP) - Perhaps 10,000 tourists from Britain were in the vast southern swath of Asia hit by a powerful earthquake and killer tidal waves, the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) said.
Some 3,000 were in the Maldives, with another 2,000 or so in Sri Lanka and in Thailand, plus "some independent travellers that we don't even know about" scattered around the region, ABTA spokesman Keith Betton told AFP.
A relatively small number of tourists were believed to have been in Indonesia, following Foreign Office warnings of a "heightened risk" of terrorist attacks over the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
Originally posted by Indigo_Child
Sky news report death toll 22,000+ with Sri Lankan toll of 10,029 dead
[edit on 27-12-2004 by Indigo_Child]
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Rescuers scoured Asia's coastlines for survivors of devastating tidal waves that obliterated seaside towns in nine countries, killing more than 19,930 people. Aid poured into the region, but morgues and hospitals struggled to cope with the tragedy.
Hundreds of children were buried in mass graves in India as their grieving parents looked on.
The death toll began climbing sharply after Sunday morning's 9.0-magnitude quake that struck deep beneath the Indian Ocean off the coast of Indonesia, the most powerful temblor in four decades.
AN earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale has struck India's remote Nicobar Islands.
"An earthquake hit the Nicobar Islands north of Sumatra at 4.39pm (20.39 AEDT), registered by other seismologists as 6.5 on the Richter scale," a seismologist from Thailand's meteorological department said.
"We cannot tell whether it would trigger a new tidal wave, but the earthquake was felt in Phuket."
MADRAS, India (Reuters) - At least 2,890 people have been killed in Tamil Nadu by a weekend tsunami, the state disaster control room said on Monday, pushing the national toll above 6,600.
The Press Trust of India reported that 377 people had also died in the union territory of Pondicherry, a former French colony surrounded by Tamil Nadu.
The death toll in Tamil Nadu from the tsunami, triggered by an underwater earthquake off Indonesia, had earlier stood at 2,400.