Liz Jung / Staff reporter

On December 26, 2004, an earthquake with magnitude of 9.3 hit the Indian Ocean and killed approximately 227 898 people in 14 different countries. Just like the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, there are many different natural disasters that cannot be stopped. However, today, many these natural disasters are more a result of mistreatment of the planet through climate change.

The epicenter of the earthquake on December 26, 2004 was off the west coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia. The underwater earthquake with a magnitude of 9.3 was triggered by a crack along the fault between the Burma Plate and the Indian Plate.

Village wiped out in Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia

Today, we have many natural disasters that cannot be stopped by human endeavors. Ever since 2004, big and small big natural disasters have occurred all around the world, some due to mistreating nature. One of the most common natural disaster we face today is heatwaves.

In 2019, places like Iran and Pakistan had temperatures that reached up to 50 degrees Celsius and had 32 days of heatwaves, the second-longest ever recorded with 189 deaths in a total of two countries combined. The cause of these heat waves is global warming.

Along with heatwaves, other natural disasters are causing damage across the world. Venice is currently experiencing a major flood. The city is flooded by 6ft high water level damaging their historic basilica and houses.

Venice major flood

While natural disasters that were caused decades ago were caused by nature, natural disasters today are the result of our harming of nature.
Looking back at the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and earthquake, survivor Nazaruddin Musa says that “it was a life or death moment because the water was right behind us.”

Tourists hold hand and take a picture in front of St. Mark’s Square

The planet got warmer by 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
If the temperature rises to two degrees, then heatwaves will last three times longer, the rainstorms will be three times stronger and intense, and the sea level will increase.

Scientists cannot agree on one number, but they are sure that there is not much time left for the planet. Natural disasters like heatwaves would become more common.
The Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami might have been a warning from nature to people.