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University at Buffalo's Arts & Sciences Libraries Indian Ocean Tsunami Disaster
December 26, 2004 and Aftermath

A Select Guide to Information

Tsu-Nami Kanji - click here for definition

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On December 26, 2004, a massive earthquake occurred under the Indian Ocean just off the coast of Indonesia. The 9.0 magnitude quake created a series of tsunamis that caused great destruction and loss of life throughout the Indian Ocean basin, within several hours of the initial event.

Below are links to the event, the aftermath, news and relief activities, science pages on tsunamis and earthquakes, and other resources. This page can be used to study the entire series of events, as well as current updates. There are also links to data and human effects from the successive earthquake in March 2005 (and later activities). Also see: Latest Reports for more current news and information on the region, relief efforts, more.


area of Aceh province before the earthquake
area of Aceh province after the earthquake
Satellite photographs of an area of Aceh Province, Indonesia, before and after the tsunamis.
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animated map of tsunamiHistory & Events

Latest Reports

Current Status Reports (ReliefWeb). Updates on progress, status of loans and other activities as the region recovers. Of special interest is:

South/Southeast Asia and East Africa: Earthquake and Tsunamis: Fact Sheet no. 14 (ReliefWeb Aug. 9, 2005) Status Reports for Countries prepared by the International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

News Special Pages

News Services (for Updates)


New York Times BBC Reuters CNN

Refugees at Port Blair Andaman IslandsSoutheastern Asian News Services (by country)

Images, Maps, GIS, and Video

Sri Lankans who have not eaten in almost a weekRelief Efforts and Country Contacts

  • World Comes to Aid Tsunami Victims. The aftermath of the disaster will continue to haunt the Indian Ocean community, as well as effect the world for years to come. International reaction has been rapid in sending help to the region, with pledges of continued support in the future.
  • Emergency hotline numbers to countries.
  • Red Cross Victims Database (Red Cross). Online database to assist family members to track down lost loved ones.

Lists of Relief Organizations

IFRC logoSelected List of Major Organizations

How to Contact Countries for Information, Assistance Finding Relations

  • If you are trying to reach one of these countries for information, call:
    • India: +91 11 2309 3054
    • Thailand: +66 2643 5262 and 2643 5000
    • Sri Lanka (residents): +94 11 536 1938
    • Sri Lanka (tourists): +94 11 243 7061
    • Maldives: +44 20 7224 2149
    • Seychelles: +248 321 676.
    • Also try the U.S. foreign embassy list for your country.
  • Make Appeals to Countries (CNN). If you are looking for someone, you can send an appeal. This is a service offerred by CNN to assist you in searching for relations. Also links to responses from "found" individuals.

Tsunami Science

General & Brief

How does this event affect the entire world? See a page of maps and charts that show the extent of the tsunami's reach to all oceans of the world (West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center). It is amazing!

Science, Research, & In-Depth

Tsunami Awareness & Preparedness

Tsunami Warning Centers

Disaster Preparation

seismic shock pattern imageEarthquakes & Seismic Activity

Tsu-Nami KanjiTsunami is a Japanese word with the English translation, "harbor wave." Represented by two characters, the top character, "tsu," means harbor, while the bottom character, "nami," means "wave." (Quote from Univ. of Washington, Dept. of Earth and Space Sciences "Tsunami! website).
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David J. Bertuca, Map Librarian
Last modified: 13 December 2005
URL: http://ublib.buffalo.edu/libraries/asl/guides/indian-ocean-disaster.html
Comments to: askASL@buffalo.edu

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This page was selected as one of the best reference web pages of 2004; see: Coutts, Brian E. and Cynthia Etkin. "Best Reference Sources 2004" Library Journal 130:7 (April 15, 2005): 50-55. Online (brief) version: Best Reference Sources 2004 By Brian E. Coutts April 15, 2005