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Tsunamis UPSC | Natural Disaster| Contemporary Issues | Geography of India

Tsunamis as Natural Disaster:

  • Tsunamis is a Japanese word that means Harbor wave. It is different from Tides as it is not a result of the gravitation force of the moon.
  • Tsunamis is a large wave with a larger wavelength over larger water bodies such as the ocean which causes a large scale of destruction in coastal areas.
  • Tsunamis are a series of waves.  A gap of two consecutive waves is generally more than 1 hour.
  • Tsunamis is one type of Natural disaster that can be predictable and destruction can be avoided if well prepared.

For example,

  • 2004 Tsunamis in the Indian ocean were caused by the rupture of Indian plates and Burma Plates.
  • The earthquake magnitude was 8.8-9.0
  • Epicenter Northern Sumatra Islands
  • Wave height approx 100 feet or 30 meters high
  • Cause more than 2.5 Lakh death in 14 countries
  • More than 10000 death was in India.
  • Tsunamis wave took 7 hours to reach the Arabian sea and 5 hours to Australia's coast
  • There is a gap of some hours between the earthquake and Tsunamis wave as the tsunami wave speed is usually approximately 800 km per hour.

Why so many losses?

No Tsunami warning system was installed at that time in the Indian ocean. However, not easy to sense tsunami waves in the deep ocean as not much height is noticed in the deep ocean but a series of sensors can detect the tsunami wave the deep ocean.

Cause of Tsunamis :

  • Earthquakes
  • Volcanic eruption,
  • Meteorite drops,
  • Underground explosion
  • Landslide in oceans

Tsunamis Preparedness:

  • Tsunami warning system:
    • As of now, the earthquake can not be predicted, however, a tsunami can be predicted within 3 hours.
    • The early warning system has been installed in the Indian ocean after the 2004 tsunami.
  • The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO; emphasized the collaboration of public, community, national, and local emergency agencies.
  • Venkatraipur and Noliasahi communities in Odisha are recognized by UNESCO-IOC as tsunami-ready communities. 
  • Mangrove forestation along with the coastal line
  • Animals have a sixth sense; They were least affected by the 2004 Tsunamis. Need to study animal behaviors.
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