Could a tsunami disaster happen again?

A comprehensive warning system has been set up to alert coastal countries in the Indian Ocean when earthquakes are judged likely to trigger tsunamis. However, when a real-life test came in 2012, many residents of Banda Aceh in Indonesia didn't go to the evacuation towers.

By , Staff writer

Ann Hermes

When the tsunami struck in December 2004, none of the affected countries around the Indian Ocean had any advance warning. For Aceh, Indonesia, the time lag between the magnitude-9.1 undersea earthquake and the first giant wave was as little as 30 minutes. For countries located farther away from the fault line, it took hours for the first waves to arrive, meaning that a timely evacuation would have spared many lives.