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Earthquake damage seen from space

By: Katherine Butler on Sept. 23, 2012, 4:09 p.m.
Effects of Tsunami in Lhoknga, Indonesia

Photo: NASA/Centre for Remote Imaging, Sensing and Processing, National University of Singapore and Space Imaging.

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Lhoknga, Indonesia

When a magnitude-9.0 earthquake rattled the coast of Sumatra on Dec. 26, 2004, tsunamis swept across the Indian Ocean, leaving a trail of incredible devastation in their wake. Around 275,000 people were thought to have lost their lives, while millions more were injured or displaced across Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia.


Pictured here is the town of Lhoknga, on the west coast of Sumatra. The photo above shows the area three days after the earthquake and tsunami, while the picture below shows the area about one year before. NASA points out that the only structure to survive the tsunami was a mosque (white circular feature) located in the center of the city.