Published On: Wed, Dec 10th, 2014

Nat Geo to remember 10 year anniversary of tsunami with specials

Ten years ago, on December 26, 2004, a tsunami devastated 14 countries and took a quarter of a million lives — the deadliest recorded tsunami in history. Experts had no idea the area was at risk, and innocent victims were totally unprepared. The world was shocked by the disaster, and the magnitude of deaths and casualties prompted a worldwide humanitarian response. In the years following, the world continued to remember. A miniseries distributed by BBC and HBO, “Tsunami: The Aftermath,” dramatized the events following the tsunami, and the Oscar-nominated film “The Impossible” told the story of one family’s incredible struggle to find each other after the wave struck.

The tsunami that struck Malé in the Maldives on December 26, 2004  photo/ Sofwathulla Mohamed, public domain via wikimedia commons

The tsunami that struck Malé in the Maldives on December 26, 2004 photo/ Sofwathulla Mohamed, public domain via wikimedia commons

Now, National Geographic Channel is looking into the past, in hopes of learning about the future. In the new documentary special The Next Mega Tsunami, premiering Friday, Dec. 26, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, scientists search for clues along the tsunami-ravaged coasts of Indonesia with the hope of better preparing people for the next time one hits. They are racing to discover where and when the next one could strike — and how destructive it could be. Experts used to believe that the biggest killer waves were generated only in a handful of regions, but mounting evidence now suggests that more of the world’s coasts, from California to Australia, could be in grave danger. The Next Mega Tsunami is also premiering internationally on National Geographic Channel and on Nat Geo Mundo in December. 

“That was a wake-up call for the world,” says Charles Rubin in The Next Mega Tsunami. “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.”

Professors Charles Rubin and Kerry Sieh refuse to be caught off-guard again — as the entire world was by this devastating tsunami. Another such disaster could strike, and in more locations than originally expected. Before 2004, the only massive megathrust earthquakes recorded by instruments were in Russia, Chile and Alaska. Most parts of the world had no instrumental record of a megaquake, so those places, including Indonesia, were thought to be safe from them. In The Next Mega Tsunami, join the scientists as they go back in time to examine the history of tsunamis. Watch as they look into the ocean and explore underground to discover when and where giant waves struck, even before any printed records. What they find might help predict where the next wave could hit.
Immediately following, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, we remember those who were affected that tragic day, with an encore presentation of Tsunami: Day of Destruction.

It’s Dec. 26, 2004 and all is calm in paradise, but deep beneath the Indian Ocean, a record-setting earthquake triggers what appears, at first, to be a normal wave. We look back at the shocking story of the tsunami that engulfed parts of South Asia, killing more than 200,000 people and displacing millions. Using a wealth of amateur video footage and firsthand accounts, Tsunami: Day of Destruction recounts how one of the deadliest natural disasters of all time unfolded.

For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com and follow us on Facebook (natgeotv), Twitter (@natgeochannel, @NGC_PR) and Instagram (@natgeochannel).

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