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An essay on Tsunami disasters

It was on December 2004 when the Indian Ocean experienced a massive tsunami with the centre at Indonesia. Its epicenter was located at 3. 130Nand 95. 950E. From the epicenter, the rupture accelerated northwards causing an earthquake M9, which was biggest in the last thirty years. The displacement of sea floor led to formation of a series of strong waves causing tsunami. On the region next to the epicenter for the earth quake, a number of buildings experienced the intensive tremor and collapsed.

From the USGS which measured the intensity of the earth quake, it was reported that the region on Banda Aceh, Sumantra experienced an intensity of IX. There was strong ground shaking even at Sumatera Uttara province which causing panic to the population. In Nicobar Islands, buildings collapsed with population the intensive shaking led to population falling to the ground (Edward 2006). In northern Indian Ocean, this was also experienced with tremors at Southeast India. This led to the cracking of tall buildings whereas tremors at Thailand led to swaying of buildings.

The tsunami caused “174,500 casualties, 51,500 missing persons and approximately 1. 5 million people displacement” (Hirata 2006). Most deaths were at the vicinity of Indonesia. This caused destruction of roads, buildings, towns and every structure in Aceh province. Estimation indicated approximately 50% death of coastal people of the province. Many coastal tourism hotels were also damaged with losses of fishing equipments as well as small cargo ships (Edward 2006). For the Hokkaido tsunami, the epicenter was approximately 15 miles off the coast.

The tectonic plate’s effects caused trembling of waters that created tsunami. On reaching the shoreline, the waves were about 20 meters high which caused massive destruction. A umber of holiday resorts were damaged and population drowned. All the houses in the coast were destroyed since most of them were made of wood. However, the loss of lives was not as high as for Indian Ocean. The number of casualties was 202 where fire also occurred in the residential areas (Gianfreda 2001). Factors leading to impacts

A number of factors led to the increased impact that was experienced in the two tsunamis. Among the factors include shortage of knowledge on the various signals. Lack of enough and efficient warning and communication process also lead to increased casualties. For Hokkaido the warning delayed with five minutes and the waves overrun the sea walls (Edward 2006). Mitigation factors The coastal population is growing due to the expansion of tourism industry. Appropriate control and management of disasters can be done to protect these people from tsunami effects.

These include the use of early warning systems, enlightening the people through education, proper use and planning of land as well as other technical means (Edward 2006). The population need to know on the causes of tsunami for them to be able to observe various factors related to such disasters (Spilsbury 2009). Educating the population is a convenient way of controlling tsunami losses. This would help to enlighten the population with knowledge on the causes as well as warning signals related with tsunamis. Individual observation on related warning would help the people to take appropriate actions.

Possession of knowledge on occurrence of tremors, withdrawal of waters and ocean waves as signals is thus important (Edward 2006). Effective use of warning signals that tracks the line of path of tsunami would help to create awareness on the progress of the wave. As a result, the media and communication procedure should be used to communicate to the coastal people and regular updating. In addition, timely evacuation of coastal people could also help in the reduction of impacts. Not everybody was even aware of the warning signals and hence evacuation procedure was poor.

However, for future control, physical barriers can be constructed to block the high waves (Fehr 2006). References Edward, j. , Terazaki, M. The impact of tsunami in coastal areas: Coastal protection and disaster prevention measures—Experiences from Japanese coasts. Coastal Marine Science 30(2): 414–424 Fehr, I. , Grossi, P. Managing Tsunami risk in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake & tsunami. Journal on Science of Tsunami Hazards, Vol. 25, No. 1, page 42 (2006). US geological survey accessed from

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