Ancient tsunamis devastated Asian coasts

The recent tsunamis that have caused such devastation in the Indian Ocean may not have been the first. According to a new study which sampled sediments in Thailand and Sumatra, the area may have been hit by a massive tsunami between 600 and 700 years ago.

"Geological data is increasingly being used to back up forecasts of how likely there is to be large earthquakes in the future," said Dr. Katrin Monecke of the University of Pittsburgh. "For coastal planners I think it's very important to know this," she told BBC News.