In the devastation wrought across Aceh by the tsunami which struck South Asia on 26/12/2004, almost everything was destroyed. Often, as here, only the mosques remained standing. 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. Aceh, the closest landfall to the epicentre of the quake, suffered the greatest loss of life.