Medan city is the capitol of Sumatra and Indonesia’s third largest city with about 2 million people. Although it has few attractive tourist sites it is a bustling commercial city with international companies and countless mom-and-pop shops. The two most handsome buildings in town are the great Raya Mosque and the former sultan’s palace, now the Istana Maimoun Museum.
On December 26, 2004, the western coast and islands of Sumatra, particularly the northern Aceh province, were devastated by a nearly 15 meter high tsunami following the 9.2-magnitude Indian Ocean earthquake. The death toll surpassed 170,000 in Indonesia alone, primarily in Aceh.
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