An army of civilian volunteers has started clearing up the area hit by the tsunami which struck South Asia on 26/12/2004. Their work is supported by the Samsung corporation. An underwater earthquake measuring 9 on the Richter scale triggered a series of tidal waves which caused devastation when they struck dry land. 12 countries were affected by the tsunami, with a combined death toll of over 150,000. In Thailand many of the victims were Western tourists.