The estimates I've heard suggest that about 150,000 people died in the tsunami. To put that in perspective, I attempted to calculate the number of people who die on a normal day. The 2004 World Population Data Sheet provides the following figures.
- The population of the world is about 6.4 billion.
- Approximately 9 people die every year for each 1,000 alive. That means that about 57 million people die every year.
- If they died at an approximately constant rate throughout the year, then approximately 160,000 people die every day.
- So the tsunami, was equivalent to an extra day's harvest of death.