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Is our local area a risky place?
Are some places riskier than others?
How risky is it to live in the UK?
To what extent are some hazard risks made greater by humans?
Can all hazard risk be managed (one)?
Can all hazard risk be managed (two)?
Does location affect how hazard risks are managed?
Risky world - Assessment
Risky world - Using Google Earth

Risky world - Can all hazard risk be managed? (one)

Risky world

In this lesson students will learn about the causes of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, understand which countries were affected by the tsunami and understand the causes of the tsunami.

Key question

  • What happened on 26 December 2004?

Key Concepts

  • Space
  • Physical and human processes

What happened on 26 December 2004?

An earthquake happened in the Indian Ocean, approximately 175 miles west of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The focus (point where the earthquake starts) was very shallow, only 30 km below the sea bed. It measured 9.0 on the richter scale making it one of the strongest tremors every recorded. The earthquake lasted for between three to four minutes, lifting the sea floor by several metres. The power released has been calculated to be equal to 23,000 atomic bombs.

The earthquake created a tsunami, a series of giant waves which quickly moved towards the eastern and western edges of the Indian Ocean. In parts of Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka the level of destruction was extreme, the waves destroyed coastal settlements and left tens of thousands missing or dead, the final death toll surpassing 150,000.

The response to the disaster around the world was swift. Countries, mainly MEDCs, quickly pledged funds to help finance the rescue and repair programmes - Britain pledged a donation of $285 million. As well as money many countries provided medical and military support, such as medicine, helicopters, and specialist staff. In affected areas, aid organisations set up shelters for the homeless and temporary field hospitals.





As a class launch the 'December 26 2004' Interactive on the whiteboard and drag and drop the names of some of the countries that surround the Indian Ocean. What might the connection between these be?

Alternatively, using an atlas label the following countries on the world map:

  • Thailand
  • Indonesia
  • India
  • Sri Lanka
  • Maldives
  • Somalia



Use the 26 December 2004 interactive to look at the sequence of events on that day.

But what caused these events?

Put the processes that led to the tsunami in order using the sequencing activity.

You may want to use the tsunami causes fact sheet to help you.

Produce a picture storyboard of what happened on 26 December 2004. If you need more help then use storyboard with graphics.



Complete the Triangle of knowledge for what you know so far about what happened on 26 December 2004.

Now you can compile a transcript for the BBC the sequence of events which led to the tsunami.

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