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Emergency Medicine International
Volume 2011, Article ID 920813, 3 pages
Research Article

Impact of 2004 Tsunami in the Islands of Indian Ocean: Lessons Learned

1Department of Emergency Medicine, St. John's Episcopal Hospital, 327 Beach 19th Street, Far Rockaway, New York, NY 11691, USA
2Department of Emergency Medicine, St. John's Episcopal Hospital, 3264 Wolfson Dive, Baldwin, New York, NY 11510, USA

Received 13 December 2010; Revised 8 March 2011; Accepted 22 March 2011

Academic Editor: Christian K. Lackner

Copyright © 2011 Georges Ramalanjaona. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Tsunami of 2004, caused by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, is the most devastating tsunami in modern times, affecting 18 countries in Southeast Asia and Southern Africa, killing more than 250,000 people in a single day, and leaving more than 1.7 million homeless. However, less reported, albeit real, is its impact in the islands of the Indian Ocean more than 1,000 miles away from its epicenter. This is the first peer-reviewed paper on the 2004 tsunami events specifically in the eleven nations bordering the Indian Ocean, as they constitute a region at risk, due to the presence of tectonic interactive plate, absence of a tsunami warning system in the Indian Ocean, and lack established communication network providing timely information to that region. Our paper has a dual objective: the first objective is to report the 2004 tsunami event in relation to the 11 nations bordering the Indian Ocean. The second one is to elaborate on lessons learned from it from national, regional, and international disaster management programs to prevent such devastating consequences of tsunami from occurring again in the future.