Indonesia | Natural Disasters Ravage Indonesia
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- Dutch Recognize Indonesia's Independence
- Suharto Assumes Control and Brings a Measure of Stability
- Indonesia Annexes East Timor
- East Timor Gains Independence
- Unrest Plagues Wahid's Tenure as President
- Terrorists Attack Bali Nightclub
- Natural Disasters Ravage Indonesia
- Indonesia Holds Parliamentary and Presidential Elections
- Three Planes Crashes in Eight Months Kill Hundreds
Natural Disasters Ravage Indonesia
On Dec. 26, 2004, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, whose epicenter was off the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, caused a tremendously powerful tsunami in the Indian Ocean that devastated 12 Asian countries. At least 225,000 people died in the disaster, and millions were left homeless. Indonesia was the heaviest hit, with more than 150,000 casualties. Many of the deaths occurred in the war-torn province of Aceh.
On May 26, 2006, more than 6,200 people were killed in a 6.3 magnitude earthquake on Java. About 130,000 were left homeless. Just two months later, on July 17, an earthquake and tsunami struck Java, killing more than 500 people. It was the fourth major earthquake to strike the country in 19 months.
Suharto died on January 27, 2008, after spending most of the month in the hospital for heart, lung, and kidney ailments. At his death, a civil suit, which was filed in 2007 and sought $440 million that he had embezzled and $1.1 billion in damages, was still pending. He was never criminally charged for embezzlement or for the deaths of approximately 500,000 people who died in the purge of suspected Communists in the late 1960s. The United Nations has called Suharto the most corrupt contemporary leader.
Amrozi bin Nurhasyim, Imam Samudra, and Mukhlas, also known as Ali Ghufron, were executed by firing squad in November 2008 for their role in the 2002 bombing at a nightclub in Bali that killed 202 people, mostly tourists.