Geography Tectonics - Case Studies


Indian Ocean Tsunami 2004

Causes - 9.1 magnitude 
- No tsunami warning system
- Subduction of Indo-Australian plate under Eurasian plate. Pressure and friction build-up, releasing huge quake. Seafloor pushed upwards due to quake, violently moving ocean water.

Social Effects - Death toll - 228,000
- 1.7 million homeless. 1,500 villages destroyed in N. Sumatra, Indonesia. 
- Diseases, eg Cholera, broke out from mixing of fresh water, sewage and saltwater.

Economic Effects - $15 billion in damages.
- Destruction of infrastructure, hotels, fishing vessels washed ashore - loss of jobs.
60% of Sri Lanka's fishing fleet destroyed.
- Tourism plummeted. Phuket visitors dropped 80% in 2005.

Environmental Effects - Hazardous material mixed in ocean
- Death of sea animals killed by pollution. 8 million litres of oil released from Indonesia plants. 
- Crops destroyed and farmland ruined from salt water - loss of income.
- Mangrove forests along coast destroyed - they act as natural protection against tsunamis.

Extra points - The vulnerable are the poor and island communities who were remotely cut off and rely heavily on fishing. Long term response was international aid coming mainly from the UN, Australia spent $60m on emergency relief.

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