Christmas is cancelled

The world’s a pretty complex place and there’s no mistaking the fact. While it has been nice enough to let us humans call it home for so long, we’re still getting to grips with its complex behaviours. And that includes all the tantrums and hissy fits it likes to throw up when you least expect it. Earthquakes come top of that list.

Unless you were too engrossed in your X Box/Barbie doll/Hot Wheels or whatever you got for Christmas 04, you won’t ever forget the explosive earthquake that hit the Indian Ocean on the 26th Dec. It was the real deal and for the people in the firing line, there was nowhere to hide. Christmas didn’t bring any joy that year.

Originating off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, it triggered a series of devastating tsunamis which hit most of the surrounding coasts. Taking the full force were the likes of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand, and with waves of up to 30 metres, the final page in the chapter was always going to be a no brainer. Final number dead? Around the 225,000 mark seems about right. Get the full picture here:

Clocking in at an impressive 9.1 – 9.3 on the richter scale, the Indian Ocean earthquake is reckoned to have shaken the planet by as much as 1cm. Doesn’t sound like much? Well it gifted earthquakes to places as far away as Alaska. That’s over 7,500 miles away for all you doubters. And just for the record, the 1960 Valdivia ‘quake takes the title for the most potent ever recorded. A not to be messed with 9.5 on the richter scale. Click here for all the facts:

Luckily ‘quakes don’t usually come knocking on our doors in the UK. But every now and then, they do like to grace us with an unwanted appearance. Like the one in 2008 which was our biggest for nearly 25 years. Let’s pray it’s at least another 25 before the next.

See the mess it caused here:

Click here to learn more about tsunamis.

Responding to natural disasters such as tsunamis, volcanic eruptions or earthquakes, you could be involved as: