Question: On December 2004, tsunami brought havoc on 14 countries including India. Discuss the factors responsible for occurrence of Tsunami and its effects on life and economy. Describe the mechanisms for preparedness to reduce the risk during such events.
Answer: Tsunami is one of the most destructive of disasters with widespread effects on people living near the shores. Eventhough tsunami is a naturally occurring disaster, sometimes human activities are responsible too.
Factors responsible for tsunami occurrence
- Underwater earthquakes
The biggest and the most common reason for tsunami occurrence is underwater earthquake which takes place near plate boundaries. Movement of plates create crevices that displaces large amount of sea water, which then moves with high velocity towards coast to cause large destructive waves.
- Volcanic eruption
Undersea volcanic eruption also is the reason behind tsunami occurrence, especially near the continental boundaries. Eruption of volcano also displaces water to form large tsunami causing waves.
- Use of destructive weapons
Man made tsunamis are caused by using destructive weapons such as nuclear missiles. This incident releases large amount of energy to cause artificial earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
Effects on life and economy
- Destruction of property
Economic loses will be in form of loss of property, both public and private. After the disaster the infrastructure has to be rebuilt.
- Loss of lives
The people staying near the coast are most vulnerable to tsunami due to the sheer impact of the waves. Interior lives many be lost due to side-effects such as floods or building collapse.
Mechanism for preparedness
- Tsunami warning system
Predicting the tsunami is the most important part in management of the disaster. Earthquake detection and analysing the amount of threat and the time for impact will determine the effects on the people.
- Disaster management exercise
People living near vulnerable areas must undergo disaster management exercise in order to be prepared in case of tsunami. They must be taught to save their lives until help arrives.
- Precautionary measures
Precautionary measures like keeping safe distance from the coast for residence has to be followed to minimise the impact. In addition suitable building codes have to be followed to prevent loss of property.
Thus, disaster such as tsunami can be better handled through predictive mechanism. If proper steps are followed, lives can be saved before the waves impact.