Dec. 26 (Bloomberg) — An 8.9-magnitude earthquake, the fifth strongest in a century, struck the Indonesian island of Sumatra, unleashing giant tidal waves that killed thousands of people in India, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia.
The strongest earthquake in 40 years triggered nine aftershocks measuring between 5.8 and 7.3, most of them in waters between India and Thailand, the U.S. Geological Survey said on its Web site. Tsunami waves struck coastal areas as far as 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) from the epicenter.
Sri Lanka reported at least 1,300 deaths and the Indian government said more than 1,000 people died, Agence France-Presse said. At least 150 people died in Indonesia and 18 people died and more than 1,100 were injured in Phuket and other southern beach resorts in Thailand, it said. Deaths also were reported in Indonesia and Malaysia.