NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Tsunami. Satellite image of the progress of the 26 December 2004 tsunami wave, off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The images are chronological, left to right top to bottom, and the tsunami wave is marked by red arrows. The time period from first to last is 2 minutes 30 seconds. It shows that the wave was travelling at around 30 kilometres per hour, although in deep water it would have been far smaller but travelling at a velocity of over 600 kilometres per hour. This tsunami was caused by an undersea earthquake of magnitude 9 on the Richter scale. It was the largest quake in 40 years and over 150,000 people were killed.
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