Natural Hazards

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 105–124 | Cite as

The Indian Ocean tsunami of December 26, 2004: observations in Sri Lanka and Thailand

  • T. Rossetto
  • N. Peiris
  • A. Pomonis
  • S. M. Wilkinson
  • D. Del Re
  • R. Koo
  • S. Gallocher
Original Paper


On December 26, 2004 a great earthquake (M W 9.3) occurred off the western coast of Sumatra triggering a series of tsunami waves that propagated across the Indian Ocean causing damage and life loss in 12 countries. This paper summarizes the observations of lifeline performance, building damage and its distribution, and the social and economic impact of the tsunami made by the Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team (EEFIT) in Thailand and Sri Lanka. EEFIT operates under the umbrella of the UK’s Institution of Structural Engineers. It is observed that good engineering practice can reduce economic losses, but additional measures are required to reduce risk to life.


Indian Ocean tsunami Sri Lanka Thailand Sumatra earthquake Lifelines Building damage 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Rossetto
    • 1
  • N. Peiris
    • 2
  • A. Pomonis
    • 3
  • S. M. Wilkinson
    • 4
  • D. Del Re
    • 2
  • R. Koo
    • 5
  • S. Gallocher
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Risk Management Solutions Ltd.LondonUK
  3. 3.Risk Management Solutions Ltd.Aghia Paraskevi, AthensGreece
  4. 4.School of Civil Engineering and GeosciencesUniversity of NewcastleNewcastleUK
  5. 5.ArupKowloon Tong, Hong KongChina
  6. 6.Halcrow Group Ltd.GlasgowUK

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