The tsunami devastated the popular tourist resort of Patong. Locals quickly started the task of cleaning up, in the hope of having the tourists return as soon as possible. At the moment however, few tourists remain and even fewer will enter the water. 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 in South Asia were affected by the tsunami, with a combined death toll of over 150,000. In Thailand many of the victims were Western tourists.