The day of the tsunami in the Indian Ocean – level 3

26-12-2004

It was Sunday morning, on December 26, 2004. The beaches in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and other places began to fill with people. Tens of thousands of people spent their dream holiday there.

On the west coast of Sumatra, at a depth of 30 kilometers below the earth’s surface, three continental plates collided. There was an enormous earthquake under the Indian Ocean. The sea floor was pushed up and millions of tons of water were sent into motion.

The water rushed at a speed of 800 kilometers per hour. In some places the tsunami was 30 meters high. The tsunami came to the beaches quickly and unexpectedly. Many people had no time to run away to a higher ground. In some places the tsunami went 2 kilometers inland.

The tsunami destroyed thousands of miles of the coastline. It claimed 220,000 lives in 14 countries and left 1.5 million people homeless.

Difficult words: depth (the distance from the top to the bottom), plate (a big sheet of rock that forms the surface of the Earth), motion (movement), rush (to move quickly), coastline (the place where the land meets the sea), claim (to take).

What do you think about this day?

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