The 2004 Tsunami and Its Effects on Sri Lanka: Background information when reading Wave

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Wave
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2013, 240 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2014, 240 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jo Perry

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Beyond the Book:
The 2004 Tsunami and Its Effects on Sri Lanka

Wave is not a linear account of the tsunami, and because the author's stark focus is internal, the disaster and events in the months and years that followed, are often hazy. Because of this, it's worth taking a look at the magnitude and nature of the tsunami the author survived.

A tsunami is a series of giant waves caused either by an earthquake or a volcanic eruption under the sea. Either of these phenomena leads to water displacement which in turn churns large quantities of water into massive waves. A tsunami is not just one wave but a series of walls of water minutes or even up to an hour apart.

The 2004 tsunami, which caused widespread destruction, was triggered by a massive earthquake of magnitude 9.0 just off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The two tectonic plates which triggered the earthquake were the Burma and India plates. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, this earthquake released the energy of 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs. By the end of the...

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