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Monday, December 27, 2004

BBC NEWS | In Depth | At-a-glance: Countries hit

BBC NEWS | In Depth | At-a-glance: Countries hit


The epicentre of the earthquake was off the western island of Sumatra, striking at about 0100 GMT (0800 local time) on Sunday.

Dozens of buildings were destroyed in the initial quake before a huge wall of water, up to 10m high in places, hit the provinces of Aceh and North Sumatra.

Officials said Aceh was the worst hit area, which lies closest to the epicentre.

Coastal towns and villages, and the resort island of Nias, were swamped.

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A wide stretch of the eastern coastline - from Jaffna in the north to the popular tourist beaches in the south - has been devastated.

Districts of Muttur and Trincomalee were reportedly inundated by waves as high as 6m.

More than a million people have been forced from their homes, officials say.

The port in the capital, Colombo, was shut by flash floods.

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More than 2,000km (1,243 miles) of southern coast was swamped by tidal waves, including the states of Tamil Nadu - whose capital, Madras, was particularly badly hit - Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala, as well as the federally administered territory of Pondicherry.

Hundreds of fishermen are missing off India's southern coast, and there are reports of scores of bodies being washed up on beaches.

A nuclear reactor in Tamil Nadu was shut down after sea water entered an estate housing scientists.

Heavy damage is also reported in the Andaman and Nicobar islands. Jetties on the island's main port have collapsed and many people have been forced out of their homes.

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The western coast of southern Thailand has been badly affected, including Phuket and Phi Phi islands and the mainland resorts of Krabi and Phang Nga.

Reports say divers and sunbathers were swept out to sea from beaches near Phuket.

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High waves and floods inundated the islands.

Large areas of the capital, Male, have been left under water and some low lying islands abandoned.

Some of the country's 200 islands cannot be contacted.

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People are reported to have been swept away from beaches near the northern island of Penang.

The mainland states of Kedah and Perak were also affected.

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The northern Somali coastline, more than 6,000 km (3,728 miles) from the epicentre, was reported affected.

There are unconfirmed reports of fatalities in Kabaal in the north-east and in Elmaan, north of the capital, Mogadishu.

Waves also struck Kenya, after hitting Mauritius, Reunion and the Seychelles on the way.

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The south-eastern coast is reported to have been struck by a huge wave.

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