December 26 – Some important events on this day
795 👉🏼 Leo III is elected to serve as Pope on the day his predecessor was buried and is consecrated the following day
1492 👉🏼 1st Spanish settlement La Navidad in the New World is founded by Christopher Columbus (modern Môle-Saint-Nicolas in Haiti)
1792 👉🏼 Trial of French King Louis XVI, court hears the kings defense brought by Raymond Desèze
1825 👉🏼 Decembrist uprising in Russia against Tsar Nicholas I begins
1973 👉🏼 Horror film “The Exorcist” based on book and screenplay by William Peter Blatty, starring Linda Blair, rated X, premieres – 1st horror film to be nominated for Best Picture
1982 👉🏼 TIME’s Man of the Year is a computer
2004 👉🏼 9.3 magnitude earthquake creates a tsunami causing devastation in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Maldives and edges of the Indian Ocean, killing 230,000 people.
On this day, one of the most devastating natural disasters in history occurred when an earthquake off the coast of Sumatra measuring between 9.1 and 9.3 on the Richter scale triggered a gigantic tsunami across the Indian Ocean. Some of these tsunamis were up to 30 metres high, completely inundating and destroying coastal communities in a swathe of nations. An estimated 230,000 were killed.
The Indonesian city of Banda Aceh was worst affected, where as many as 167,000 people died. Other severely affected nations included Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Somalia and others. Indirectly affected were a vast number of countries around the world, particularly Germany, Finland, Norway and Sweden, from where many tourists had gone to Southeast Asia to escape winter.
The plight of victims and overwhelming scale of the disaster triggered one of the largest humanitarian aid operations in history, with donations of more than $14 billion. The earthquake that triggered the tsunamis was the third-largest ever recorded and faulted for between eight and ten minutes. Earth vibrated as much as 10 millimeters and earthquakes were triggered as far away as Alaska.