Natural Disasters

Twelve years later, impact of Tsunami still makes waves

Down To Earth revists the causes of the massive earthquake that triggered tsunami 12 years ago and the progress scientists have made towards understanding and predicting its trigger

By Vijay Ravikumar, DTE Staff
Published: Monday 26 December 2016

In the aftermath of Tsunami

Credit: CSEOn December 26, 2004 the third-largest earthquake (9.5-magnitude) ever recorded jolted India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and 11 other countries. It triggered a series of devastating tsunamis along the coasts of most countries bordering the Indian Ocean, killing 230,000–280,000 people.  

Authorities were taken by surprise as the rapidly rising tide devoured everything that came its way, leaving them incapable to prevent human and economic loss. What has been our progress in predictive science and disaster management more than a decade after the tsunami?

India has been trying to advance its tsunami prediction mechanism and early warning system. Most recently, a network of 35 motion accelerometers and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers were set up on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. According to media reports, the network will help assess the rupture, area and direction of an earthquake, allowing quick estimation of tsunami and its range.

Twelve years after the disaster, bodies of victims still remain unidentified. Around 400 victims of the disaster are yet to be identified in Indonesia.

As the world pays homage to those who lost their lives, Down To Earth puts together a series of observations made in the aftermath of the Tsunami.

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