Published online 4 January 2005 | Nature | doi:10.1038/news050103-2


Aerial shots reveal extent of devastation

The sheer force of the Indian Ocean tsunami is shown in these satellite photos.

<mediar rid='m1'><?xm-replace_text {mediar}?></mediar>Sunday 26 December 2004 was a day that changed Asia forever. Trillions of tonnes of water roared across the Indian Ocean, and the force with which they struck the surrounding coastlines is all too apparent in these satellite images. Seaside resorts and villages have been reduced to mud; entire beaches are gone. The disaster has left a blot on the landscapes of Indonesia, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka, both physically and in terms of the 150,000 lives that it has claimed so far.

These photographs were captured by a range of Earth-observation satellites including IKONOS, SPOT 2, SPOT 5 and RADARSAT-1, and by the Indian National Remote Sensing Agency. The pairs of images show devastated regions before and after the tsunami.

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