On December 26th, at 7:59 AM local time, an undersea earthquake with a magnitude of 9.1 struck off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The earthquake triggered a tsunami, which spread across the Indian ocean, devastating coastal areas in South and Southeast Asia, reaching as far away as East Africa, thus causing one of the largest disasters in recorded history.

Some locations reported that the height of the waves had reached 9 meters or more when they hit the shoreline.

At least 225,000 people across a dozen countries were killed, with Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Maldives, and Thailand sustaining extreme damage.

Officials estimated that the death toll in Indonesia alone ultimately exceeded 200,000, particularly in the Aceh province in northern Sumatra.