Thursday, December 5, 2013

Banda Aceh, Indonesia

Since it is almost the nine year anniversary of the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004, I wanted to do a post from that part of the world.  While researching what is easily the most deadly event of the 2000s decade, the place I frequently read as being "hardest hit" was the city of Banda Aceh which is located near the northernmost point of Sumatra.  Out of the >230,000 people estimated killed by the tsunami, 160,000 were said to have been killed (or were missing) in or around the Banda Aceh area.  That's potentially 70% of the total amount of victims.

The before (1st image in gif) and after (2nd image in gif) give a pretty clear sense of the scale of damage.  From what I'm interpreting, it appears that the entire area contained in this image was inundated by the wave.  The silver lining is in the 3rd image of the gif.  After only four years (2009), the city looks much cleaner in aerial imagery, and reconstruction of the coastline seems to have taken place.  Still, the appearance of the coastline is now dramatically different from its pre-tsunami shape.

The gif below shows June 2004, January 2005 (1 month after tsunami), and February 2009 (~4 years after tsunami):

You can find it yourself on Google Earth using these coords:     5°33'30"N    95°17'00"E  

More info from sources referenced: Tsunami WikipediaBanda Aceh Wikipedia, Dec 2012 Article

Check back for more in two weeks! (Unless I decide to take a break for the Holidays. We'll see.)