In 2004, a 9.1 earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra in Indonesia, triggering a tsunami and series of tidal waves that became one of worst natural disasters in recorded history
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What triggered the Indian Ocean tsunami?
The initial earthquake is among the strongest ever recorded, estimated to have released energy equivalent to 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs. In Banda Aceh, closest to the earthquake's epicenter, tsunami waves hit over 100 feet.
What was the total toll of the Indian Ocean tsunami?
There were 1,117 people killed in the initial earthquake, but the tsunami it triggered caused severe damage and deaths as far as Africa, with the furthest recorded fatality directly attributed to the tsunami occurring close to Cape Town. An estimated 220,000 people died in total.
Approximately 135,448 homes were seriously damaged, along with 78,604 which sustained minor damage. It is one of the ten worst earthquakes in recorded history, as well as the single worst tsunami in history.