Because of the distances involved, the tsunami took anywhere from fifteen minutes to seven hours (for Somalia) to reach the various coastlines. The northern regions of the Indonesian island of Sumatra were hit very quickly, while Sri Lanka and the east coast of India were hit roughly 90 minutes to two hours later. Thailand was also struck about two hours later despite being closer to the epicenter, because the tsunami traveled more slowly in the shallow Andaman Sea off its western coast. In South Africa, some 8,500 km (5,300 mi) away, a 1.5 m (5 ft) high tide surged on shore about 16 hours after the earthquake. It took a relatively long time to reach this spot at the southernmost point of Africa, probably because of the broad continental shelf off South Africa and because the tsunami would have followed the South African coast from east to west.
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