Tsunami - Sri Lanka Arugam Bay in December 2004

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It's the early morning of December 26th, 2004. Close to the North-West coast of Sumatra, deep under the surface of the Indian Ocean, the greatest natural desaster within living memory initiates.The India Plate slips under the Eurasia Plate abruptly and thus smashes the crust of the earth under water. A huge part of the ocean floor ist displaced about 10 meters up, unimaginable energy is set free and causes an earthquake of  9.0 on the Richter scale. The surface of the Indian Ocean rises and waves of destruction roll towards the coasts and islands. About 15 minutes later the first wave is flooding the flat land of  Aceh (Indonesia). Villages are zeroed out within minutes. People and animals alike are facing the powerfull walls of water without any chance to escape - only few of them survive. About 30 minutes after the first quake, the lethal waves reach the Nicobar and Andaman Islands. These islands border the Andaman Sea in front of the Thai and Myanmar coast, but politically they belong to India. Some of them are still inhibited by natives (Negritos), who - safe and insulated from civilization - are living consistently with nature, as people used to live in Stone Age. The tribes of Sentilese, Scomps, Nicobares and Onges still comprehend the "language of Nature" which has been forgotten by so called civilized people.

Not only the tribes, but also wild animals understand the signs of imminence long before any seismographic warning system - that is not existing here anyway - might have warned anybody. The last about 50 Sentilese had moved inlands or to higher places of the island. No dead wild animal, such as elephants for example, could be found either - another indicator for natural instinct. In the meantime, the Tsunami is rolling in eastern direction, inexorably, towards the coastal area of   Thailand and Myanmar. Almost the whole Thai coast is a tourist spot at high season over Christmas. All hotels are fully booked - as every year about this time. The seaquake has happened about 90 minutes back, when now the first wave reaches Phuket and Khao Lak. At this point of time, in Indonesia about 100,000 people at least have lost their lives already. The sea takes lives of local and foreign people as well in Phuket as in Phi Phi Island. Most people die in Khao Lak - extended beaches with an open waterfront, hotels most closely to the beach, are destructed by the waves. Most hotel employees and guests lose their lives - nothing much was left there. On the western side of the Indian Ocean, the wave is heading towards the srilankan and indian coast: This takes about 120 minutes. The East Coast of Sri Lanka, and especially Arugam Bay - famous to surfers all over the word for its huge waves anyway - was affected most. Like Khao Lak, we find open beachfront hotels here - of which not much was left after the Tsunami waves which were extremely high there. Many local and foreign people were killed here as well, but - compared to Thailand - you will not find any good infrastructure here. The only bridge to the mainland is destroyed, and one can still clearly realize the consequences of the Civil War. In the meantime, the lethal wave is rolling on - onto the Indian coast, over the Maledive and Seychelle Islands, even - after 7 hours or more -  to the East-African coast, where it raises the death toll for a last time.