GIS Continues to Assist Emergency Responders
December 26, 2004, ushered in the largest natural disaster in recent history. A 9.1 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami brought incredible devastation to much of Southeast Asia. Countries, including Sri Lanka and Thailand, saw massive human casualties as well as the demolition of houses, roads, hospitals, and even entire villages.
No country was more affected than Indonesia. A wave purported to be 30 meters high hit the province of Nangroe Aceh Darussalem on the northern tip of Sumatra. An assessment after this event in Aceh Province found that 150,000 houses had been damaged or destroyed and 3,000 kilometers of road were deemed impassable. But even this devastation paled in comparison to the direct toll on human lives: 175,000 people killed or missing and 600,000 left homeless.