“The tsunami that devastated South-East Asia was much bigger than was first believed, reaching heights of 30 metres, the size of a 10-storey building, and speeds of 13.7 metres a second.
Scientists have found evidence in the Indonesian province of Aceh which shows the world has seriously underestimated the damage tsunamis can wreak.
The findings bode ill for coastal settlements neighbouring ocean faultlines, including Australia. ‘It’s just staggering,’ said Andrew Moore, one of the researchers studying the destruction in Aceh.
The tsunami that struck South-East Asia on December 26, killing at least 250,000 people and displacing millions more, was triggered when two tectonic plates collided with each other in the Indian Ocean and caused an earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale.
The team found the tsunami’s height along the coast south of Banda Aceh, the area closest to the earthquake and worst hit by the disaster, was about 24 metres above sea level, with ‘run-ups’ on inland slopes exceeding 30 metres. The average speed of the waves on shore was 13.7 metres per second.”