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Up until December of 2004, the phenomena of tsunami were not on the minds of most of the world's population. That changed on the morning of December 24, 2004 when an earthquake of moment magnitude 9.1 occurred along the oceanic trench off the coast of Sumatra in Indonesia. This large earthquake resulted in vertical displacement of the sea floor and generated a tsunami that eventually killed about 280,000 people and affected the lives of several million people. Although people living on the coastline near the epicenter of the earthquake had little time or warning of the approaching tsunami, those living farther away along the coasts of Thailand, Sri Lanka, India,. and East Africa had plenty of time to move higher ground to escape. But, there was no tsunami warning system in place in the Indian Ocean, and although other tsunami warning centers attempted to provide a warning, there was no effective communication system in place. Unfortunately, it has taken a disaster of great magnitude to point out the failings of the world's scientific community and to educate almost every person on the planet about tsunami. For more information on tsunami

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