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The beaches of Khao Lak, Thailand were struck by a tsunami 2-3 hours after the magnitude 9.0 earthquake of December 26, 2004. Although 500 km away from the epicenter, the waves were 10 meters (33 feet) high. A resort area popular with Northern European tourists, luxury resorts dotted the coastline (January 3, 2003 image, lower center). Buildings and vegetation were scoured by the waves, leaving foundations and bare soil. Beach sand was also removed by the tsunamis. These high-resolution satellite images were acquired by DigitaGlobe’s Ikonos satellite.
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This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.