A new study suggests that a full moon might have caused the 9.3 Sumatra – Andaman earthquake, which triggered a devastating tsunami that killed nearly 275,000 people across south and Southeast Asia in December 2004. This Asian Tsunami is one of the deadliest disasters in modern history, destroying the livelihoods of millions of people. The research carried out by Robert Crockett and his colleagues from the University of Northampton, UK, has found that major earthquakes are likely to occur around new and full moon days, when tides are at their highest levels. Crockett said that during new and full moon day’s large mass of water will be loaded and unloaded at the plate boundaries, initiating major quakes. The team studied tremors and collected tidal data along the Java-Sumatra trench, between October 2004 and August 2005, for this study.

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake originated near the western coast of Sumatra, triggering a tsunami that wrecked the shores Indonesia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia etc., with 30meters-high giant waves. Another similar study carried out Professor Sebastian Hainzl and his colleagues from the University of Potsdam, Germany, found that rain too plays an important role in triggering earthquakes, by increasing the water pressure within the underground porous rocks, which could trigger quakes in fault lines.

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