The traumatic tsunami that occurred in the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004, was generated by a 9.0 earthquake under the Indian Ocean. This earthquake was the largest earthquake recorded in 40 years. This earthquake under water also had very high aftershocks, from 6.3 to 7.0. The waves traveled very fast reaching the shallow waters, with waves as high at 10 to 15 meters. The rupture was more than 600 miles long. These gigantic waves caused a lot of destruction to the land and killed many people. A leading factor was because many people did not react quickly by moving to high grounds. Also, many people on the beach did not see the tsunami as a sign of danger so many were killed instantly when it hit the shore. This could have been because tsunamis in the Indian Ocean are often rare, but can occur.