Wave of Destruction by Erich Krauss
The Stories of Four Families and History's Deadliest Tsunami

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At just before 8:00 a.m. local time on December 26, 2004, a monstrously powerful earthquake erupted on the floor of the Indian Ocean. The quake roared across the seabed for a full ten minutes—most earthquakes last only a few seconds—and is estimated to have had a shocking magnitude of 9.15 on the Richter scale.

The earthquake, felt as far away as Alaska, generated a cataclysmic tsunami, which devastated coastlines bordering the Indian Ocean; Indonesian, Sri Lankan, Thai, Indian, even Somali coastal areas were all ravaged. As many as 250,000 people died in one of the most horrifying natural disasters in the modern age.

In Wave of Destruction, Erich Krauss tells the stories of four families who escaped the tsunami but not the horror it sowed. Beginning with their fight for life as a forty-foot wave ripped through their community, and ending with their slow, confusing attempt to rebuild after the last of the bodies were buried, Krauss depicts the trials of ordinary people who braved the worst of nature and exemplified the best of man.

A gifted writer and expert in Thai culture, Krauss gracefully weaves these stories together to give a fuller picture of the tsunami’s toll and the great resilience shown by those that survived it and rebuilt their lives in its wake. Powerful, moving, and startlingly immediate, Wave of Destruction allows the reader to experience one of the worst disasters the world has ever known through the eyes of those who will never forget it.

About Erich Krauss

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ERICH KRAUSS is uniquely qualified to write this story of the world's worst natural disaster. He has a degree in geomorphology with a specialization in natural disasters and is the author of Wall of Flame, a non-fiction account of the 2003 California wildfires. He resides in Thailand and San Diego, California.
Published December 27, 2005 by Rodale. 256 pages
Genres: History, Nature & Wildlife, Travel, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Wave of Destruction

Kirkus Reviews

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A journalist intercuts the stories of four families from the Thai coastal village of Nam Khem that lost nearly 5,000 inhabitants in the December 2004 tsunami.

Oct 15 2005 | Read Full Review of Wave of Destruction: The Stor...

Entertainment Weekly

When Erich Krauss first emerged from a jungle trek in Thailand last December, he was unaware of the deadly tsunami spawned in the Indian Ocean a day earlier.

Dec 21 2005 | Read Full Review of Wave of Destruction: The Stor...


Informed by his experiences, Wave of Destruction personalizes the tragedy, though Krauss's take on Thai culture is simplistic and at times his writing is sugary: "Finishing her chores by 7 o'clock, [Dang] went to the bed, peeled back the mosquito net, and gently woke the children, who greeted her...

Dec 19 2005 | Read Full Review of Wave of Destruction: The Stor...

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