I don't know if you've seen the news, but tsunamis generated by an earthquake in Indonesia have made a mess of Southeast Asian coasts, killing as many as 10,000 people. India and Thailand apparently got the worst of it. (CNN)
From what I've read, it's not that a giant wave comes crashing on the shore, but rather a ridiculous tide comes rushing in and rising faster than anyone can deal with it. It all happened so quickly and early in the morning that it really couldn't have been avoided.
What a very sad way to end the year.