Though much of this happened the day after Christmas, it began on December 25, 2004. In the hours between Christmas Day and the day after, a massive earthquake, registering at least 9.1 on the Richter scale hit just off the west coast of Sumatra. The damage from that alone was devastating, as it was felt along the coast, but the tragedy didn’t stop there. Aftershocks continued to roll as a tsunami of massive proportions gained strength and crashed into many countries surrounding the Indian Ocean with tragic results.
In the 14 countries hit by the quake and tsunami, more than 230,000 people were killed. It was one of the worst tsunamis in history. Homes were destroyed, people went missing, and whole villages were lost, and the region is still feeling the effects of the disaster, even today.