What damage was caused by the 2004 tsunami?
The death toll reached higher than 220,000, and many communities suffered devastating property damage. The tsunami demolished many of the homes located within 40 m of coastal sand dunes. In some places the damage extended to buildings 132 m from shore. One of the heavily hit areas, on India’s southeast coast, was widely rearranged by the tsunami waves that reached it. The wall of water created by the earthquake near Indonesia was up to four metres high when it hit land and flowed two kilometres (1.2 miles) inland. The tsunami also left its mark on farmland and fresh water. It contaminated soil and ground water areas with salt. While soil was returning to normal conditions after six months, the water still remained too salty for drinking and cleaning. Cracks were formed in limestone, which allowed salt water to quickly pollute the freshwater.