Earthquakes and Tsunamis  

The December 26, 2004 tsunami that caused widespread destruction throughout Asia was generated by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake that occurred under the Indian Ocean near the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Large scale movement of the Earth's crust displaced enormous amounts of water and within hours deadly ocean waves began to reach the coastlines of 11 countries.

Watch how the ocean waves created by the earthquake spread throughout and beyond the Indian Ocean after the earthquake struck.

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Animations by U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and U.S. National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program