Monday, December 26, 2011

Top 10 Most Dramatic Indian Ocean Tsunami Videos

Seven years ago late yesterday first reports were trickling in of a rather sizable earthquake in Indonesia and a resulting localized tsunami of note. Of course this was merely the beginning of sorrows and horrors as the 2004 Andaman-Sumatra Earthquake and resulting 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami disaster unfolded. By today seven years ago we were all transfixed by what we were seeing on the internet and on television. Before this event there was surprisingly little good video of tsunamis. This was a watershed event not only for tsunami research but also for the capturing of tsunami on video camera. The following ten videos are my picks as the most dramatic to come out of this event in the Indian Ocean basin. I list them in order of prominence from top to bottom.

This is unquestionably to me the most dramatic of the raw footage shot of this disaster. It is taken at Banda Aceh, Indonesia, in the midst of a zone of nearly complete devastation where many thousands of people died within sight of where the footage is shot. It shows that entire district of the city being swept away by ominous roiling black waters. Fortunately, the cameraman and those with him found shelter in an impregnably secure structure that was one of the few to survive the catastrophe. Notable in this video is the sound of the water raging past and the children crying in the background and bein comforted by a woman, presumably their mother.

This video clip used to be available in 100% raw form which I prefer. However, the best I could do at this time is offer it as viewed on a newscast clip. It was taken in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, but in a district of town not utterly annihilated as in the previous clip. However, it is basically no less dramatic. Notable in this video is the initial appearance of the tsunami at the intersection the cameraman from which the cameraman is shooting and how quickly bedlam ensues as the water rapidly rises and jetsam and flotsam rapidly pile up.

This is quite certainly nearly as dramatic is the previous one and quite a bit longer. This scene unfolds in Sri Lanka where we see a perfectly normal morning in town get turned into the end of the world for a lot of people as the camera rolls. Notable in this raw footage is the sight of buses being floated and turned over on their sides with people scrambling upon them. I present here the full-length video as I prefer as little editing of video I watch as possible.

This raw footage features a Phuket, Thailand hotel and its beach-side restaurant get assaulted by the tsunami. Especially noteworthy in this reel of raw video is an old couple getting overwhelmed by the tsunami and swept away. The woman was killed. The voice of the cameraman and those around him lends additional dramatic effect.

Although this footage clip is one of the most often used on television up to the present I had the most difficulty tracking it down online. This scene presumably takes place at a Phuket Island, Thailand, resort complex although the video offers no description of itself and I cannot recall from memory where this occurred. Notable in this footage is the father giving good narration and at the height of the tsunami's assault on the resort grounds he yells to his kids to get back inside their room from the balcony upon which they had been observing the approaching 20-30 foot-high waves.

This video is rather remarkable as its length gives us the chance to watch the tsunami approach Patong Beach, Thailand, for several minutes and then we see it hit and then watch the ominous retreat of the surge for a number of minutes in a video first as to my knowledge there is no precident to this showing the entire cycle and from a higher elevation perspective no less. This video is also notable for showing the infamous scene of the boy or young man standing transfixed on the sand from whence the ocean had retreated and unable to bestir himself to run away is overrun and drowned before our eyes.

This is one of my footage favorites from this disaster as it shows a tall and powerful surge of water roll into a resort at Koh Phi Phi Island, Thailand, and yet nobody is shown getting swept away. Notable in this video is the large, stately vase-like fountain that initially appears to be tall but at the peak of the tsunami is almost over-topped. Also, the narrator is surprisingly calm but does a great job explaining what is going on.

The raw footage was taken in Sri Lanka and features tsunami rolling into a resort and sweeping away a number of people who appear to survive. The voice of the cameraman and those with him lends narration and additional dramatic effect.

This sequence taken from a rooftop features the tsunami crashing into Patong Beach, Phuket Island, Thailand. It is notable for the widespread disruption of streets and thoroughfares of that resort community as well as the dramatic waves action visible. The cameraman speaks in an unknown tongue but with a Jersey Shore-like affectation.

This short reel of raw video features yet another Sri Lankan resort getting overrun by the waters of the tsunami. This footage features a gorgeous swimming pool getting swamped as well as people running for their lives.

One More Indian Ocean Tsunami Video Of Note

Another Indian Ocean Tsunami Video

Earlier this year I compiled a similar list regarding the Great Tohoku (Japan) Tsunami of last March which can be viewed here and is entitled Top Ten Most Dramatic Tohoku Tsunami Videos.


  1. Good job compiling and documenting these videos of this horrendous disaster. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for saying that and thanks for taking the time to visit my blog and check out these raw video clips.