The connection between the natural environment and the human environment was made known to the world on December 26, 2004. It will hopefully continue to be portrayed in the media for months to come. There is an irony that is very apparent in the story of the tsunami. The natural environment is what caused this disaster and stole the lives of many people. Since the "dust has settled," people are now turning to the environment for food, shelter, and income in the same ways they did before. Preserving coastal forests and wetlands are being emphasized to provide buffers to future tsunamis. Fisherman whose boats were not destroyed, are once again heading to the oceans, and tourists are once again pondering the idea of a vacation in Sri Lanka. It is ironic that the dealer of such a horrific event is now the giver of life once again on the island of Sri Lanka.
The epicentre of the earthquake was located about 250 km south-southeast of the Indonesian city of Banda Aceh. It was a rare megathrust earthquake and occurred on the interface of the India and Burma tectonic plates. This was caused by the release of stresses that develop as the India plate subducts beneath the overriding Burma plate. A megathrust earthquake is where one tectonic plate slips beneath another, causing vertical motion of the plates. This large vertical displacement of the sea-floor generated the devastating tsunami, which caused damage over such a large area around the Indian Ocean.