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Countries affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami

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A village near the coast of Sumatra lies in ruins
Countries directly affected by the earthquake and tsunami

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami occurred on Sunday, December 26, 2004. The earthquake itself, with a moment magnitude of around 9.1-9.3, devastated Aceh Province, Indonesia, while the tsunami affected countries all around the Indian Ocean. Nations which were affected are listed below in alphabetical order. For detailed information about each country affected by the earthquake and tsunami, see their individual articles. Countries with a smaller number of casualties, as well as those that lost citizens who were travelling abroad, are listed further on in the article.

Countries suffering major casualties and damage[edit]

  severe damage and loss of life
  moderate damage and some loss of life
  minor damage and no loss of life
  loss of citizens abroad

Effect on India 16,269 casualties were reported on 24 November, 2014,[1] most of them in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. There were 5,640 people missing, nearly all of them on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In the meantime, the death toll was decreased[clarify] by 1,458, and the number of missing by 2,927 on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Effect on Indonesia Indonesia's Ministry of Health confirmed 131,028 deaths on June 18, 2005, mainly in the northern province Aceh of the island Sumatra. Some 37,000 people are missing.

Effect on Malaysia Despite its proximity to the incident, Malaysia escaped the kind of damage that struck countries thousands of miles further away (most of its western coast is shielded by Sumatra). The estimated number of deaths is 75 with five others missing.[2]

Effect on the Maldives In the Maldives, an estimated 108 people were killed and 26 reported missing and presumed dead.[3][4]

Effect on Myanmar Independent media reports 90 people killed in Myanmar due to the tsunami. The official death toll is 61. Witnesses in Myanmar estimate up to 600 deaths.

Effect on Somalia Villages and coastal communities in Somalia, as far as 4,500 km (2,800 mi) from the epicenter of the earthquake, were swept away and destroyed by the huge waves. 176 people were confirmed dead, 136 were missing and more than 50,000 were displaced.

Effect on Sri Lanka Sri Lankan authorities report 31,229 confirmed deaths, and 4,093 people missing. Other authorities are speaking from 38,940 combined dead and missing people. The south and east coasts were worst hit. Nearly 2,000 of the dead were on the Queen of the Sea holiday train destroyed by the tsunami. One and a half million people were displaced from their homes, and many orphaned or separated from their families.

Effect on Thailand The Thai government reports 5,395 confirmed deaths, 8,457 injuries and 2,817 missing on 20 June 2005. Damage was confined to the six southern provinces facing the Andaman Sea. The Thai government was keen to point out that the rest of the country was operating normally, and that even some resorts in the south had re-opened.

Countries suffering some casualties and damage[edit]

 Bangladesh Two people, a four-year-old boy and his younger brother, were killed when their boat capsized off the coast of Barisal.[5]
 Kenya Waves struck Kenya causing some minor damage. One person was reported to have drowned at Watamu, near Mombasa.
 Seychelles Three killed, six people missing. A major bridge in Victoria was destroyed.
 South Africa One boy died after swimming in the Quinera River at Gonubie, close to East London; an adult dead at Blue Horizon Bay near Port Elizabeth, the furthest point from the epicenter of the earthquake where a tsunami-related death was reported. General observations: Ocean level variance two to three meters outside normal reported in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape, and a surge of 1.5 m was observed as far as Struisbaai in the Western Cape, 8500 km from the epicentre of the earthquake. Some steps were taken in South Africa to warn ports and disaster management centers, although full details are not public.

Large concrete blocks were uprooted in East London harbor, where boats also broke from their moorings. Boats and cars were submerged at the Algoa Bay Yacht Club in Port Elizabeth harbor. Durban harbor, Africa's busiest general cargo port and home to the largest and busiest container terminal in the Southern Hemisphere, was closed for some time on 27 December because of unusually strong surges across the entrance channel.

 Tanzania 10 killed, an unknown number of people missing. An oil tanker temporarily ran aground in Dar es Salaam harbor, damaging an oil pipeline.
 Yemen One child killed, 40 fishing boats wrecked on Socotra Island.

Countries suffering damage only[edit]

 Australia Tremors felt along the north-western coast, with some minor flooding. Seas off Western Australia reportedly surged between Geraldton (425 km north of Perth) and Busselton (230 km south of Perth); several boats were ripped from their moorings, and a father and son in a boat were washed out to sea, but were later rescued. No direct casualties were reported within Australia.

Despite initial worries about Cocos (Keeling) Islands, no casualties were reported. People swimming at Christmas Island were sucked 150m out to sea, but were safely carried back to shore soon thereafter. At roughly 2 pm that day, a single wave surged (between 5 and 10 m beyond the normal high-water point) on Mullaloo Beach, Perth, briefly startling and engulfing several people. No injuries were reported.

 Madagascar Flooding in low-lying coastal districts. No reported casualties. Waves, reported variously between 1.6 and 10 metres in height, swept through southeastern coastal areas. Over a thousand locals were displaced. Problems were further exacerbated by the approach of Cyclone Chambo.
 Mauritius No reports of casualties; however, a village in the north of the island was completely submerged. Police issued warnings to bathers to stay out of the water, although this had the opposite effect, with crowds thronging the beaches to watch the phenomenon. Speculation is that coral reefs surrounding much of the island protected the coastline.
 Oman Waves hit coastline; no casualties.
 France Over 200 boats sunk in Réunion; damage to port infrastructure estimated at over €500,000.

Countries/territories that lost citizens while abroad[edit]

Country/Territory Deaths
  • Per million
  • inhabitants
 Argentina 2 0.05
 Australia 26 1.17
 Austria 86 10.30
 Belgium 11 1.02
 Brazil 2 0.01
 Canada 15 0.59
 Chile 2 0.12
 China 3 0.01
 Colombia 1 0.02
 Croatia 1 0.23
 Czech Republic 8 0.76
 Denmark 45 8.32
 Estonia 3 2.24
 Finland 179 33.40
 France 95 1.45
 Gabon 1 0.22
 Germany 539 6.75
 Hong Kong 38 5.69
 Ireland 4 0.89
 Israel 6 0.93
 Italy 54 0.66
 Japan 37 0.35
 Luxembourg 2 4.00
 Malaysia 9 0.96
 Malta 1 2.38
 Mexico 2 0.03
 Netherlands 36 2.22
 New Zealand 7 1.61
 Norway 84 17.30
 Philippines 8 0.09
 Poland 1 0.34
 Portugal 5 0.38
 Russia 9 0.31
 Singapore 9 1.80
 South Africa 17 0.41
 South Korea 17 0.40
 Spain 2 0.04
 Sweden 543 58.10
  Switzerland 113 14.40
 Taiwan 2 0.09
 Turkey 1 0.01
 United Kingdom 143 2.40
 Ukraine 38 0.15
 United States 33 0.17
 Vietnam 1 0.01
Total 2,233

A – J[edit]

Argentina Two Argentinians died in Krabi, Thailand, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[6]
Australia 26 Australians (23 in Thailand and three in Sri Lanka) were confirmed to have lost their lives.[7] Earlier fears that several hundred Australians may have died were revised: Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty put the likely death toll at between 30 and 100, and other sources said the final number will be about 50. AFL player Troy Broadbridge, who was on his honeymoon with his wife, was confirmed as one of the dead. Australians were asked to observe a minute's silence at 11:59 am.
Austria 86 Austrians were confirmed dead. 85 died in Thailand and one in Sri Lanka.[8]
Belgium 11 Belgian tourists were confirmed killed in Thailand.[9]
Brazil The Brazilian diplomat Lys Amayo de Benedek D'Avola and her 10-year-old son died in Phi Phi, Thailand.[10] At first, a list of about 300 people who were unaccounted for was put together. One by one, however, all the people were found, either in hospitals, already home or in other countries.
Canada 15 Canadians were confirmed dead, as well as another six were left missing. Five of the missing are presumed dead.[11]
Chile Two dead.
China 3 confirmed dead, 13 injured in Thailand.
Colombia An eighteen-month-old baby was reported dead in Thailand.
Croatia A 3-year-old girl from Croatia died in Thailand.
Czech Republic Seven dead (six in Thailand, one in Sri Lanka); five injured in Thailand.
Denmark 45 people dead and 1 listed as missing (as of July 18, 2005). Of the dead, 43 died in Thailand. A young female tourist and a Danish resident died in Sri Lanka.
Estonia Three confirmed dead in Thailand.
Finland 179 deceased, among them musician Aki Sirkesalo. 177 died in Thailand, 1 in Sri Lanka and 1 in Finland after being severely injured in Thailand.
France 95 killed and 189 injured.
Germany 539 confirmed dead.
Greece One person lightly injured in Phuket, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Hong Kong (PRC) 38 residents were confirmed dead with 2 more missing in Thailand.
Hungary Eight persons injured.
Ireland Four persons confirmed dead.
Israel Six Israelis were killed, one missing from the Thai resort of Phuket, and presumed dead.
Italy 54 Italians died in the disaster, mostly in Thailand.[12][13] About 10,000 to 12,000 Italian citizens were in the region, according to the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Japan 37 confirmed deaths.

K – R[edit]

Luxembourg A woman and her daughter were confirmed dead. Approximately 400 people were in the affected region according to the government.
Malaysia Apart from the casualties on Malaysian soil, there are further 6 Malaysian vacationers confirmed dead and 5 were missing in Phuket, Thailand, 1 was confirmed dead in Sri Lanka, 2 Malaysian students reported dead in Banda Aceh, Indonesia and 10 Malaysians were missing in Chennai, India.[14] 3 Malaysians who were on holiday in Mauritius who were initially reported missing, were found safe.[15]
Malta One woman died.
Mexico 2 deaths and 1 person missing.
Netherlands There are currently 36 confirmed Dutch deaths. The last official victim was identified on August 3, 2005. About 5 people remain unaccounted for in the sense that it is not clear if they were in the disaster area at the time of the tsunami. These are people who had not been in touch with family or friends in the Netherlands for some time before the tsunami, and were filed as "regular missing persons".
New Zealand The Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed 6 New Zealand deaths including an elderly New Zealand-born woman, who held Canadian citizenship.
Norway 84 people died, among them jazz musician Sigurd Køhn.
Philippines Eight people have been reported dead and several were injured, in Phuket, Thailand.
Poland According to Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs one Polish tourist died and 12 people were missing. Three people were hospitalised in Phuket and Krabi. The number of Polish tourists in the affected areas was estimated to be around 2,000.
Portugal Five reported dead and 4 still missing, from a total of 230 Portuguese thought to be in the region at the time, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Romania The deaths of two Romanian tourists in Phuket, Thailand were initially reported, but they were later found safe. It is estimated that over 20 Romanian tourists were in the affected region, but according to Gaginschi Cristian, representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there is no evidence that any Romanian citizen was affected by the earthquake.
Russia At least 2 died in Phuket, Thailand, and 7 are missing, according to the Russian Embassy. About 800 Russian tourists were in Phuket alone. Around 250 Russian tourists were in Sri Lanka, all of whom are safe.

S – Z[edit]

Singapore 17 dead and 2 missing.
South Africa Casualties in South East Asia: 14 South Africans were confirmed dead. All these 14 people died in Phuket or on the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand. By 26 January 2005 the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation had traced the whereabouts of all 2,896 South Africans who were known to have been in South East Asia at the time of the disaster. This includes those confirmed dead.[16]
South Korea The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported 17 dead and 3 missing.
Spain According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2 confirmed dead, both in Khao Lak beach, in Phuket, Thailand.
Sweden Sweden was likely the most seriously affected country outside of the disaster area. According to Swedish authorities, some 20,000–30,000 citizens were in the tsunami-affected areas at the time, mainly in Thai resorts. 543 persons were reported deceased, and over 1,500 in need of emergency medical help and/or transportation home. 528 bodies had been identified as of May 16, 2006.[17] The Swedish government and especially the minister for foreign affairs Laila Freivalds was heavily criticized for being slow to act.
Switzerland Over 2,200 Swiss nationals are estimated to have been in the affected area at the time of disaster. 106 have been confirmed as deceased by the Department of Foreign Affairs, and many more injured; 6 persons are still missing (as of 20 November 2005).
Taiwan Three confirmed dead, and many injured. Thirty-five fishing boats from Taiwan in Phuket, Thailand, were beached and damaged; sailors suffered minor injuries.
Turkey According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, one Turkish national killed in Phuket, Thailand. A plane, which was sent to Maldives by Turkish government to gather all the Turks in the region, returned with only 13 survivors and AKUT, a well-known Turkish search and rescue organisation that was taken there by the plane. Turkish GSM operator Turkcell announced that signals from 2,500 of its subscribers were received in the area, meaning at least 2,500 Turks were present when the disaster occurred.[18]
Ukraine According to The Ukrainian Government, 38 citizens died, including a United Nations official.
United Kingdom On 26 December over 10,000 British holidaymakers were estimated to have been in the region. There are 149 Britons confirmed dead and 1 missing.
United States The US State Department reports 18 dead and 15 missing, presumed dead. Nine died in Sri Lanka and 24 in Thailand. The State Department was working through a list of 18 unaccounted for as of February 8[year needed]. It is understood that the U.S./UK military installation at the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia was unaffected by the disaster.
Vietnam One Vietnamese national confirmed dead and three injured in Thailand. Dozens of Vietnamese shopkeepers in the area were affected.


  1. ^ "Indian Ocean Tsunami 2004 - International Tsunami Information Center". itic.ioc-unesco.org. Retrieved 2024-03-08.
  2. ^ english@peopledaily.com.cn (13 January 2005). "Death toll in Asian tsunami disaster tops 159,000". People's Daily. Archived from the original on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  3. ^ "TsunamiMaldives.mv". Archived from the original on 17 June 2009. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
  4. ^ UNICEF (May 2006). "The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami Disaster: Evaluation of UNICEF's response (emergency and recovery phase). Maldives Report" (PDF). p. i. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2011.
  5. ^ Ioualalen, M.; Pelinovsky, E.; Asavanant, J.; Lipikorn, R.; Deschamps, A. (2007). "On the weak impact of the 26 December Indian Ocean tsunami on the Bangladesh coast". Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences. 7 (1): 141–147. Bibcode:2007NHESS...7..141I. doi:10.5194/nhess-7-141-2007.
  6. ^ "El ingeniero argentino y su hijo, encontrados muertos en Tailandia" [The Argentine engineer and his son, found dead in Thailand]. Página 12 (in Spanish). 2 January 2005. Retrieved 13 November 2022.
  7. ^ "Australian victims of the 2004 tsunami". SBS News Australia. Retrieved 13 November 2022.
  8. ^ "Toten ihre Namen zurückgeben" [Give back their Names to the dead] (PDF). Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in German). Retrieved 13 November 2022.
  9. ^ "Le mystère de la dernière victime belge du tsunami de 2004: Jacques reste introuvable" [The mystery of the last Belgian victim of the 2004 tsunami: Jacques remains untraceable]. 7sur7.be (in French). 26 December 2019. Retrieved 13 November 2022.
  10. ^ "Diplomata e seu filho são enterrados no Rio" [Diplomat and his son are buried in Rio]. Universo Online (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 13 November 2022.
  11. ^ "Canadian Disaster Database". Public Safety Canada. 21 December 2018. Retrieved 13 November 2022.
  12. ^ "Tsunami, dieci anni fa l'onda che sconvolse il mondo". Ilsole24ore.com. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Dieci anni fa l'apocalisse tsunami: Veglia di memoria in 14 Paesi". Archived from the original on 2014-12-28. Retrieved 2014-12-26.
  14. ^ "18 lagi rakyat Malaysia masih hilang di luar negara". Utusan Online. Archived from the original on 1 October 2012. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  15. ^ "TSUNAMI FURY: No news yet on 160 Malaysians". Phayul.com. Archived from the original on 3 October 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  16. ^ "Statement on the Status of Unaccounted and Missing South Africans Following the Tsunami Disaster". South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation. 25 January 2005. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  17. ^ "554 döda och saknade efter tsunamin" (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio. 21 April 2005. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  18. ^ "Deprem bölgesinde 6 Türk kayıp" (in Turkish). NTV. 10 January 2005. Retrieved 3 May 2015.

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