Landsat 7 Images Show Scale of Tsunami Damage
Indonesia's island of Sumatra suffered from both the rumblings of the underwater earthquake and the tsunamis that followed on December 26, 2004. Within minutes of the quake, the sea surged ashore, bringing destruction to the coasts of northern Sumatra.
The earthquake that created the huge tsunami also changed the Earth's rotation. Using data from the quake, NASA scientists calculated the earthquake decreased the length of day, slightly changed the planet's shape, and shifted the North Pole by centimeters. (+ Read More: NASA Details Earthquake Affects on the Earth.)
Below, this pair of natural-color images from Landsat 7's Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) instrument shows a small area along the Sumatran coast in Aceh province where the tsunami smashed its way ashore. In this hard-hit region, the wave cut a swath of near-total destruction 1.5 kilometers (roughly one mile) in most places, but penetrating farther in many others.
Before the tsunami: 13 December 2004:
After the tsunami: 29 December 2004:
Side by side comparisons of Aceh coast (areas outlined in red above) before and after the tsunami.
Each image shows a 10 kilometer square area.
For more Tsunami images see Earthquake Satellite Iamgery
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center