26 December 2004 — It is the dreadful day when the deadly Indian Ocean tsunami swept across coastlines sweeping along with it, more than 200 000 lives. Since then the scientists have been hunting for the culprit behind the catastrophe. By inspecting the seafloor off the Indonesian island of Sumatra, they have developed a detailed geological picture of how the earthquake unfolded the devil – tsunami.
According to the findings, when an 800-mile (1,300-kilometer) segment of an undersea fault line suddenly ruptured, the quake occurred. The fault is called Sunda megathrust. Lying along a subduction zone, it stretches from Burma to Australia, where one tectonic plate slips beneath another, shoving it upward. Stephan T. Grilli of the University of Rhode Island (URI) said that the rupture traveled at a rate of 1.4 miles (2.2 kilometers) a second. The ocean engineer has worked on computer models of that day’s events. The researchers further predict that another huge quake and devastating tsunami could be coming soon.