<p><br> Churning waters retreat from the battered coast of Kalutara, Sri Lanka, after a tsunami hit coastal areas throughout the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004. The tsunami was triggered by an underwater 9.0-magnitude <a href="http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/photos/earthquake-general">earthquake</a> between the Indonesian island of Sumatra and the Indian Andaman Islands.</p>

Flooded Area


Churning waters retreat from the battered coast of Kalutara, Sri Lanka, after a tsunami hit coastal areas throughout the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004. The tsunami was triggered by an underwater 9.0-magnitude earthquake between the Indonesian island of Sumatra and the Indian Andaman Islands.

Photograph by DigitalGlobe/Getty Images

Tsunamis

See photos of the destructive power of a tsunami—a giant wave caused by undersea earthquakes that can wipe out anything that didn't make it to higher ground.

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