Global eye Global eye Global eye
eye on focus on on camera teachers' notes
eye on... Indonesia Global eye
Select a page
After the Tsunami
Restless Earth
Forests under Threat
Data File

The tsunami disaster: more than a wave


"In parts of Aceh, it's like 'Ground Zero'."
Hafiz Pasha, UN assistant secretary general in charge of the global tsunami task force, February 2005.

Decapitated trees along Aceh's western coast that bore the brunt of the tsunami. Visit for satellite images of the coastline before and after December 26th 2004.
Decapitated trees.
© Martin Adler/Panos Pictures

Aceh Province No family in Aceh province, northern Sumatra was left untouched by the aftermath of the tsunami. The death toll in the province is at least 126,000 with another 94,000 still missing. Yet natural disasters are rarely completely 'natural' - the situation in Aceh is no exception.

Click here to download pieces of information that tell a more complicated story about Aceh before and after the tsunami. Print them out, cut them up and sort them out in order to work out why the people of Aceh have suffered so much.

Free Aceh Movement (GAM) fighters patrol an area flattened by the tsunami.
© Martin Adler/Panos Pictures
Free Aceh Movement (GAM) fighters patrol an area flattened by the tsunami.

Afterwards, ask yourself:

  • What problems have worsened the impact of the tsunami in Aceh?
  • How are we connected to these problems?
  • What should be done to help the people of Aceh, and who should take responsibility?

Another major earthquake hit the region at the end of March 2005, and reports claim that more may follow. Visit The Guardian to read more.

Living close to three plate boundaries, people across Indonesia have learned to live with the risk of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Go to the next page to find out more.

top next