It was first thing in the morning and many were taken by surprise when the giant wall-of-water engulfed their hotel.
This was the tsunami of 26 December, 2004. It was the result of a massive earthquake off the coast of Sumatra. The tremor’s magnitude was 9.1 and 226,000 people were killed across 13 countries.
Thousands of kilometres of coastline in South East Asia were laid waste.
On 17 July 2006, another undersea quake set off a tsunami off the coast of the Indonesian island of Java and 654 people died. The tidal wave engulfed 177 kilometres of coastline. It destroyed everything in its path and 40,000 people were left homeless.
In April 2007 a magnitude 8.0 seabed tremor killed 52 people in the Solomon Islands. Five metre high waves swept 13 villages off the map and left 5,400 people without homes.
In September 2009 the death toll was 190 in the Pacific islands of Samoa and Tonga after a magnitude 8.0 earthquake. Six metre high waves travelling at high speed meant the inhabitants had only 10 minutes to flee their homes, after an alert from the warning centre in Hawaii.
In 2010, it was Chile. A tremor of 8.8 set off a tsunami killing 500 people. Many were drowned. The deadly wave also caused 22 billion euros of damage.
In October last year, the tsunami which resulted from a 7.7 magnitude earthquake killed 400 people on the Mentawi archipelago off Sumatra in Indonesia.
The three metre high wall-of-water was the result of a seabed tremor on the same fault line which caused the devastating tsunami of 2004.