The undersea earthquake occurred on December 26, 2004, generating tsunamis that were among the deadliest disasters in modern history. These tsunamis devastated the shores of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, and other countries with waves of up to 15 m (50 feet) high, even reaching Somalia on the east coast of Africa, 4,500 km (2,800 miles) west of the epicenter.

At least 150,000 people are known to have died as a result of the tsunamis and the count is still on. The true final toll may never be known due to bodies swept out to sea, but is likely to be considerably higher. Relief agencies warn of the possibility of many more deaths to come as a result of epidemics and starvation.

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