The Asian tsunami was the most deadly in recorded history and lasted for 7 hours on December 24, 2004, beginning when the first waves struck northern Sumatra in Indonesia.
Without warning, an underwater earthquake caused the sea to suddenly withdraw from the shores to be followed by four of the highest recorded waves at 80 feet, rising to 100 feet. The tsunami hit Thailand an hour later, then raced on to India and reached Sri Lanka within 2 hours. Finally, about 7 hours later, it struck the east African coast, where it ended. An estimated 260,000 people died in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.