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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 December, 2004, 17:57 GMT
Timeline: Quake disaster
BBC News looks at how the world's strongest earthquake for 40 years, which triggered sea surges and killed several thousands across southern Asia, developed.

All times approximate and GMT and local

Sunday 26 December

0100 GMT (0800):The 8.9 magnitude quake occurs under the sea near Aceh in northern Indonesia, generating a wall of water that speeds across thousands of kilometres of sea

0130 GMT (0830):Eyewitnesses on Phuket island's main beach experience a series of towering waves which hit the coast around this time

0400 GMT (0930): Parts of India's eastern coast experience mild tremors

0430 GMT (1030): Reports emerge that tidal waves have flooded southern and eastern areas of Sri Lanka, 1,600km (1,000 miles) from the epicentre

0540 GMT (1140): BBC correspondent Roland Buerk in Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, says that bodies are being pulled out of buildings in the ruined resort and many survivors are wandering around in shock

0540 GMT (1110): Reports from the southern Indian city of Madras say tidal waves have claimed lives

0615 GMT (1215): Tremors from the quake are felt in Bangladesh

0630 GMT (1130): High waves and floods are reported in the Maldives in the Indian Ocean

0700 GMT (1230): BBC correspondent Matthew Grant in Calcutta, India, says the sea surge has caused devastation across southern and eastern parts of the country, with the number of people reported dead continuing to rise

0710 GMT (1510): People are reported to have been swept away from beaches near the island of Penang in Malaysia

1110 GMT (1640): Our correspondent in Calcutta says up to 800 people have died in the southern state of Tamil Nadu and the sea surges have also struck the Indian Andaman and Nicobar islands

1500 GMT (1800): Reuters news agency reports that in Somalia, strong waves and winds capsized boats and kept fishermen in port

1625 GMT (2325): The BBC's Rachel Harvey in Jakarta says that the current death toll in Indonesia is about 2,000

Map showing

See the devastation the tidal waves have left behind


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