On Dec. 26, 2004 a 9.2 magnitude earthquake rocked the bottom of the Indian Ocean, releasing energy equivalent to that of 23,000 atomic bombs. The largest earthquake in 40 years, the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake (so named because the epicenter was near the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra) launched a tsunami across the Indian Ocean, sending a series of waves as high as 50 feet crashing onto the shores of 11 countries. Some people were swept out to sea while others drowned in their homes, unable to escape. According to the U.S. Geological survey, the official death toll was 227,898.
Next 1920: Haiyuan, China