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Tsunami - Essay Example

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Name Tutor Course Date The 2004 Tsunami The 2004 tsunami reached 9.1 magnitudes of the Ritcher scale making it the biggest ever experienced in the last 40 years and affected more than 12 countries along the Indian Ocean. The earthquake and tsunami of the year 2004 will be remembered as one of the greatest human tragedies of the century due to losses and devastation it caused to people…
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Download file to see previous pages People who lost their lives were as many as 250 000 across the shores of the Indian ocean and millions of people were displaced from their homes and their livelihoods destroyed. Countries that were directly affected by the earthquake include Indonesia, Maldives, the Seychelles, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Yemen. The livelihoods of people were greatly affected especially the poor people who depended on the ecosystem and natural resources for survival. People lost their food stores and the shops in the coastline were greatly affected. Impact on environment/pollution Environmental impact assessment showed that there are great damages to both human and natural resources. The damage could have been larger but the natural resources also provided a first line defense to the tsunami effects. The damage needed an environmental reconstruction programme that cleaned the hotspots, carried the rehabilitation of the livelihoods and ecosystem, and strengthens environmental policies. The water and soils within the periphery of the coastal systems were greatly contaminated thus interfering with the coastal ecosystems (Samarajiva 14). Inland waters, wetlands, and agricultural lands that support people with food were greatly salinated thus affecting the agricultural yields. Shallow wells and ground water supplies in the small islands and in the coastal lands were greatly affected since their fresh waters were also salinized with the waters that overflowed from the ocean. About 90% of the toilets on the badly affected highlands and coastal regions lost and the waters contaminated with sewage. The living conditions were greatly affected since the survivors stood great chances of contaminating water borne diseases. In Sri Lanka; more than 25% of the wells become contaminated when the waters from the saline Indian Ocean and sewerage treatment systems mixed with them (UNEP 15). Waterborne diseases and vector borne diseases increased considerably resulting to high mortality rates along affected coastlines. The environmental infrastructure like water and sanitation systems together with disposal sites were tampered and greatly damaged. Contamination from waste deposits caused health and environmental problems that threatened livelihoods for several years. Most lives were saved due to the enormous humanitarian response that was quickly mobilized across the globe with appropriate mitigation measures put in place to improve environmental standards (Dawson & Stewart 17). Production of goods and services/Economic impact The economic activities in the coastline and the coastal highlands were greatly affected by the tsunami. Sources of daily income and food were totally destabilized leaving people vulnerable to hunger and thirst. Many of the victims were involved in fisheries prior to the attack but they are left with no source of income since their boats were destroyed and the aquatic system destabilized. Mangrove systems and the aquaculture provided a sustainable balance in the coastal systems that were greatly interfered with in the course of mangrove attack (UNEP 19). Rice crops in islands were seen to be yellowing in the field few weeks after the deadly tsunami, an indication that they were drying out. Soil conditions doubled their salt content needed by plants ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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