26 December 2004 had been not only a dark day for South East Asia but for the entire world.
On this fateful day, one of the world’s deadliest tsunamis struck South East Asia, wiping out a quarter of a million innocent lives in the process – a mixture of holiday goers as well as locals.
Prompted a humanitarian response from the public
The sheer magnitude of the disaster promoted a humanitarian response worldwide. Years after the disaster took place the world still remembers the sheer scale of devastation and magnitude of destruction that the tsunami had caused – with plenty of TV shows and feature films based on the natural disaster.
Looking back into the past for clues to predict the future
Now, National Geographic is looking back into the past, with a documentary special, The Next Mega Tsunami, which features scientists looking for clues through the tsunami-ravaged coasts of Indonesia – in the hopes of preparing people better, should such a tsunami strike again.
Says one of the featured scientists, Professor Charles Rubin in The Next Mega Tsunami, “That was a wake-up call for the world. And the more we can understand how often tsunamis occur, how big are they, we can help people plan for the future and live much safer lives.”
Scientists race against time to predict the next major tsunami
So in this documentary, you can see scientists, including Professors Rubin and Kerry Sieh, racing against time to discover where and when the next tsunami will strike – especially in the wake of increasing evidence that more of the world’s coasts than expected, from California to Australia, may be in danger of a tsunami.
Previously it had been thought that only massive mega-thrust earthquakes recorded by instruments were in Russia, Chile and Alaska. Most parts of the world had no instrumental record of a mega-quake, so those places, including Indonesia, had been thought to be the safest.
Looking at the history of giant waves around the world
At the same time, Professors Rubin and Sieh will also look at the history of tsunamis and find out more about when and where giant waves struck in the ancient past, even before there were printed records. And what they find might help just help to predict the next killer wave.
The Next Mega Tsunami
National Geographic Channel (SingTel mio TV Ch. 201 | StarHub TV Ch. 411)
If you missed the premiere yesterday, you can catch a replay of this on Friday, 19 December at 7pm.