Earthquake and tsunami devastates south-east and south Asia
26 December 2004
An extremely powerful, undersea earthquake of magnitude 9.0 off the north coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra created a devastating tsunami (tidal wave) that has wrought devastation along the coasts of countries neighbouring the north Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal - these include Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and the Maldives.
Although hampered by distance, isolation and poor communications, reports are coming in that tell of potentially hundreds (if not thousands) of tourist deaths in the areas, alongside the horrific toll the waves have taken on local inhabitants.
Travellers are now being warned to revise their travel plans to the affected areas, not merely on account of the devastation and danger of aftershocks, but also on account of threat of disease from contaminated water and unrecovered bodies.