Before and After
The BBC has before and after aerial photos of Banda Aceh
in an update from Sumatra. The pictures make manifest the power of the wave.
It is hard for me to understand that the local people who have lived by the shore all their lives didn't understand that the water being pulled suddenly back into the ocean meant a huge wave would be coming. It wasn't just children who went out on the newly exposed seabed to pick up grounded fish, but adults from the villages that were caught away from the shoreline when the wave struck.
I don't like the water and have never been dumb enough to buy a boat [AKA a hole in the water into which you pour money]
. I can swim and scuba dive. I can actually stand up on a surfboard and exercise some control over it. I could, if necessary, build a watercraft and sail it to a given destination even without a following wind, but I wouldn't do it by choice. In spite of that I learned a very important rule about the water: if the water is doing something that fish can't handle, you sure can't handle it, so get away.
For example, if there are dead fish on the surface of a body of water, don't go swimming in that water and don't drink it. If the water is sucked away from the shore so quickly that the fish can't stay wet, something bad is going to happen. It may be an overcautious approach, but it works for me.
[Update at 7:23pm]
: More "before & after" photography
via Len at Dark Bilious Vapors