Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Frightening Disaster, Tsunami

*~Shaking the Shore with Tsunami !! ~*

The name, tsunami, comes from Japanese word, tsu (harbor) and nami (wave) combining together to form the word Tsunami. The term derives from a fisherman who sees the area surrounding the harbor has been damaged, but hasn’t seen any wave when he is in the open sea. Tsunamis form only a small hump in the open sea and travel at the speed of 500- 1000 km/h. They slow down to 10 km/h when they are getting near the coastlines forming large destructive waves.

Source for picture: http://www.awitness.org/graphics/tsunami.jpg

There are countless causes for the tsunami to occur. Tsunami is a series of ocean waves generated by the movement of the earth’s crust when plate below the water is pushed up. Large earthquake with epicenter near or under the ocean is the cause for the most disastrous tsunami. Volcanic eruptions and landslides are also responsible for the occurrence of the tsunami, but the effects are localized. Moreover, testing the nuclear weapons at sea could highly increase the risk of having tsunami. Lastly, the large meteorite impact also has a potential to generate tsunami.

Source for picture: http://www.scienceclarified.com/images/uesc_08_img0459.jpg

The effects of the tsunami could vary from unnoticeable to devastating. The waves obviously cause the severe destruction of properties and extensive loss of lives along the shore. Tsunami has major impact on the human, social and economic of the communities as well as the countries. Furthermore, the places along the shore also lose their beauties which strongly affect the tourism of that particular place and will take a few years to recover. Landscape is also destroyed. Large amount of money will be put to repair the destruction along with helping the homeless people. This will ruin the economic of the place. When such a disaster hit a place, some people will lose their jobs while many will be more likely to get injured and even losing their family members. It is difficult to deal with this physically and emotionally because the tsunami occurs within a few seconds with a small notice ahead of time.

Sources for pictures: http://peacecorpsonline.org/messages/imagefolder/tsunami.jpg


Areas Affected
Many regions in the world get affected by the tsunami especially the countries on the Pacific coast line where most tsunami usually occur. Tsunami occur frequently in the Pacific Ocean, but it is also possible to happen where large bodies of water are found. Japan is a country that has the highest records of Tsunami. Other countries surrounding the Pacific Ocean that also experience the same problems are Philippines, Hawaii, Chile and Canada. The countries surrounding the Atlantic Ocean such as Portugal, Spain, France, Ireland, Wales, England, and Jamaica also have the chance of getting Tsunami. Lastly, the Indian Ocean is the origin for the Tsunami that hit Sumatra, Indonesia, India, and Thailand as well as the other countries.

Source for picture: http://www.mapsofworld.com/tsunami/history-map-of-tsunami.html

The Effects of Tsunami on LEDC's and MEDC's

In some places, the effects of tsunami on LEDC's and MEDC's are equal, but in most cases, the LEDC's are more affected by the waves. As LEDC's have less money to spend, they often face a more severe problem. They do not have an effective warning system or lack of it. Human's response time in MEDC's are faster than in LECD's due to the preparation of the country. According to this, more people are affected and killed in the LEDC's. Most of the LEDC's are unprepared since they do not have the evacuation plan, rescuing team, and food storage. They rely on the international aid (MEDC's) since the MEDC's have better rescuing team that have experiences. These problems happen because of the lack of money since they have a lot of corruption problems within the countries . The economy of the LECD's will be more affected than MEDC's because the ratio of the money that is used for reparation is higher. Furthermore, it will take LEDC's a longer time to recover from a disaster like a Tsunami.

Source for picture: http://www.tourthai.com/gallery/images007/money.jpg

Why do people live in the areas that are likely to experience Tsunami?

There are many reasons why people live in the areas that are more likely to encounter Tsunami. The rapid growth and development on the coastal areas is a factor that attracts people to the coastline. Population explosion inland forces people to move the place that is less crowded as like the coast areas. Moreover, fishing industry also make great uses of the coastal areas because it will be cheaper for transportation when they are located beside the ocean. The interior lands of many countries surrounding Pacific are mountainous, but there are good flat lands in form of coastal plain in the coastline where the weather also seems to be nicer. The technological and economic development also make use of the land along the coast. These are why the coastal area is populated.

Source for picture: http://www.country-data.com/frd/cs/zaire/zr03_09a.jpg

Case Study: 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami

Date: December 26, 2004

Place: The origin is the under sea earthquake in the Indian Ocean where the epicenter is off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar are the most affected areas by the Tsunami. Somalia, Maldives, Malaysia, Tanzania and some other countries who get affected only a little.


The earthquake that occurs between Australian and Eurasian Plate is the cause of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. This is a conservative margin. It causes the sea floor to break apart creating large waves traveling across the Indian Ocean over 7 hours away from the epicenter. The Tsunami move at 800km/h in the open sea and slow down when they are getting near the shore as well as increasing their height. There were no warning along the coasts, the only sign that was seen is when the waterline suddenly retreated. Between 5 to 40 minutes, the large waves hit the shore.
Source for Picture: http://www.zdnetasia.com/i/blog/BCP/Tectonic_platesAsiacities.jpg


The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami has the impact on human, economy and environment. Houses are damaged leaving more than millions of homeless people. The tsunami kill approximately 283,100 people where 229,866 are missing and 1,126,900 are homeless. Indonesia has the death toll of 130,736 people, 37,063 missing and more than 500000 displaced. Sri Lanka has 35,322 death, 21,411 injured, and 516,150 displaced. The confirmed death in India is 12,405 people where 5,640 are missing and 647,599 displaced. These are the top 3 countries that are severely damaged. The waves cause the widespread of food and water shortages. The coastal area of Sri Lanka relies mostly on water from wells but they are destroyed and contaminated by the Tsunami. Epidemic is the most concerned problems due to high population density and the tropical climate of the areas that get affected. Drinking water are likely to contain diseases such as cholera, diphtheria, dysentery, and typhoid. The 2004 Tsunami has the impact on coastal fishing communities. Boats and ships along the shore are destroyed. Poor people along that region face terrible situation since they lose their income. In some area, drinking water is contaminated for years by salt water. Some resorts in Thailand that are completely untouched by the waves face cancellation problems due to fear of tsunami. Tourisms are high affected since the coral reefs under the ocean are damaged and lose their beauty which attract tourists. Hotels and areas along the shore require several months for the repairation. The shipping in Malacca Strait has been affected due to the change in the depth of the sea floor. Furthermore, the Indian Ocean Tsunami has great impact on the environment. The mangroves, coral reefs, forests, rock formations and groundwater are damaged. There are also pollution in water due to the spread of solid and liquid waste as well as industrial chemicals. Salt water causes the death of plant and important soil micro-organisms. The water washes away a 1200-year-old sand of the old lost city at Mahabalipuram on the south coast of India. The city is believed to be an ancient port city swallowed by the sea hundred years ago. Only several hours of waves can severely effect large communites and the countries since a lot of money will be put in to help the areas that are affected.

Sources for pictures: http://www.ajws.org/images/uploaded_images/India%20tsunami-Howard%20Blume%20010.jpg


Warning Systems

There is no Tsunami warning systems in the area surrounding the Indian Ocean during the occurrence of the 2004 tsunami. It is several hours between the earthquake and the hit of the tsunami on the shore so the victims are taken completely by surprise. The last earthquakes that occur in the Indian Ocean was in 1883 and it was not a major one, so people do not expect a destructive tsunami to hit them so there was no effective warning systems back in 2004. In 2005, the United Nations started working on the Indian Ocean Tsunami warning system which includes the evacuation plan of the people and a warning sign along the areas on the shore which are at risk of being hit by tsunami.
Source for picture: http://www.voanews.com/turkish/images/tv_7jan05_Warning-system_150.jpg

Conclusion !!
Global warming causes the earth atmosphere to be hotter due to greater amount of carbon dioxide in the air. This results as the sudden change of climate from cold to hot or hot to cold. As this process keeps on occurring, the ground will shrink and expand in a short amount of time which causes the crack to occur faster. The earthquakes are more likely to happen in this case and if it happens under sea, it might have the power to generated tsunami. Most earthquakes occur more than a 100 year faster than expected due to climate change and global warming. As the global warming and climate changes continue to happen, the world will experience the decreased in population since more natural hazards are likely to appear in a shorter time.

As a citizen, we have to cooperate together to work on the global warming problems so that we can save our world and there will be less natural disaster happening in the future. The easy way that we can accomplish this is by saving papers, plant more trees, carpool, turn off all unused electrical items, use paper bag, avoid the use of Styrofoam, and many more things. Let's help each other to save the world!

Source for picture: http://www1.istockphoto.com/file_thumbview_approve/3026726/2/istockphoto_3026726_global_warming_concept_ii_north_america_isolated.jpg

Website for Informations

1. http://www.drgeorgepc.com/TsunamiImpactSociety.html
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake#Damage_and_casualties
3. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/4136289.stm
4. http://www.climate.org/topics/climate/tsunami2005.shtml
5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsunami
6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming

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