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The effects of the 2004 Tsunami on mainland India and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands

By J K Patterson Edward, S Kulkarni, R Jeyabaskaran, S Lazarus, Mary Anita, K Venkataraman, S P Das, J Tamelander, A Rajasuriya, K Jayakumar, A K Kumaraguru, N Marimuthu, Suluka Robert and J Jerald Wilson


Mortality from the tsunamis was high, with more than 7,000 deaths in the Nicobar\ud group alone (the final number may never be known as many indigenous people on\ud remote islands may have perished). On the mainland, there were a similar number\ud of fatalities ;\ud The greatest losses were in fishing communities although the waves destroyed roads,\ud jetties, other basic infrastructure and entire villages;\ud There was major damage to the coastal resources of southeast India, particularly\ud to mangrove and coastal forests. On the Andaman and Nicobar Islands there was\ud considerable damage to the coral reefs and beaches, as well as the forests;\ud The earthquakes changed the bathymetry of the coral reefs and coasts of the Andaman\ud and Nicobars: reefs in the South Andamans to the Nicobars subsided by 1 - 3 metres;\ud many reefs in the northern Andamans were uplifted out of the water and died; and\ud some beaches have almost disappeared, while new beaches have formed;\ud There was major damage to large areas of coral reefs of the Andamans and Nicobars,\ud particularly due to debris being washed off the land and smothering by sediments;\ud Mainland coral reefs in the Gulf of Mannar and elsewhere suffered very minor,\ud localised damage. Many mainland beaches were seriously eroded; and\ud The affected reefs are expected to recover within 5-10 years, if there is effective\ud resource management and enforcement of legislation controlling destructive fishing,\ud coral mining, over-harvesting of reef resources, coastal development, sedimentation\ud and pollution

Topics: Tsunami, Coral Reefs
Publisher: GCRMN
Year: 2005
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.cmfri.org.in:6848

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