On December 26, 2004, Indonesia, Thailand and India were rocked by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, which triggered a deadly tsunami that claimed the lives of over 200,000 people. This raw video footage from Thailand shows the the moment the tsunami hit, and the chaos that came after.
The footage first shows tourists enjoying their time while on vacation, spending time on the beach and enjoying the sun. Soon, the footage switches to group of onlookers who notice that the tide has completely disappeared from the beach. At first, spectators are confused, unsure of what exactly is going on. “Never seen this happen before,” one person says. Suddenly, they see the tide come back in the distance.
The tide is massive, and onlookers continue to question the odd occurrence. The waves continue to grow as one person questions how the wave even got there. “Maybe the earthquake affected the water,” one spectator says as the massive wave inches closer to shore. Soon, tourists and locals alike begin to realize that the massive wave is heading for the beach. They soon understand that what they are witnessing is a tsunami.
As the wave approaches the shore, beachgoers try to run away, but some people are swept away as the wave crashes into the peaceful shore.
“We have to leave. We must go,” one person says off-camera as they witness a man being swept away by the massive wave.
Soon, the surrounding areas are all flooded. Boats begin to float away while random beachgoers are left stranded in the water. Chaos erupts as the water begins to flood the resort, and in the last shot we can actually see the lobby of the hotel start flooding as well, like an eerie reference to the famous scene from Titanic.
According to the United States Geological Survey, over 220,000 people lost their lives due to this devastating tsunami. In terms of the number of lives lost, this tsunami is considered the deadliest tsunami of all time.