Tsunami in India

When Mother Nature gets ferocious, she makes different plans to sweep away the sign of human beings from earth. People have been familiar with many natural calamities such as famine, draught, flood and earthquake, but one of the most disastrous calamities that has severely affected many areas in the country is Tsunami. Tsunami is the continuous water wave series which is caused by a shift in a large volume of water, mostly in an ocean or big lake.

Other devastating disturbances like earthquakes, land and underwater volcanic eruptions, underwater nuclear explosions, glacier calving, landslides and meteorite impacts helps in generating tsunami. The word tsunami is derived from the Japanese composition - 'tsu' means 'harbor' and 'name' means 'wave'. Tidal waves are also sometimes referred to tsunami.

Although tsunami's impact is only limited to the coastal areas, it can be enormously destructive. It can It can also affect the entire ocean's basins. In 2004, the Indian Ocean tsunami was marked as the deadliest natural calamities in the history of human. During this disaster, 14 countries having Indian Ocean as their border witnessed more than 2, 30,000 people killed. The first tsunami to struck India was back in December 31, 1881. However, the government of India indicated that around 11,000 people died and more than 5,000 were missing and were assumed dead by the Home Affairs Ministry. An estimation points out that about 380,000 Indians displaced by this tsunami. It is expected that reconstruction of these affected places would cost over 1.2 billion dollars from the World Bank.

On December 26, 2004, most of the countries located around the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal were struck by tsunami. During this time, the Richter scale measured the earthquake at 8.9 with an epicentre near Sumatra's west coast in Indonesia. The Andaman Island was said to be extensively damaged due to this tsunami. The regions affected the most by tsunami were the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and south-eastern coast.

Due to this earthquake resulting tsunami, many countries affected Southeast Asia and area beyond. Countries such as Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, the Maldives, Somalia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Seychelles and many others had to go through the devastating calamities. Several people from countries like Australia and Europe, who had travelled to these tsunami affected areas, lost their lives in this disaster.

India is the third country to be severely affected with tsunami after Sri lanka and Indonesia. Indian states affected by tsunami were Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Andaman and Nicobar Island.

Tsunami Damage in India

FactorAndhra PradeshKeralaTamil NaduPondcherryTotal
Population affected2110002470000691000430003415000
Area affected (Ha)790Unknown24877904067
Length of coast affected (Km)9852501000252260
Extent of penetration (Km)0.5 - 2.001/02/1201/01/050.30 - 3.0
Reported height of tsunami (m)503/05/1207/10/1210
Villages affected30118736226876
Dwelling units155711832910376403110829
Cattle lost195Unknown547634459116

(Source: DiMaRF, India-2005)

Last Updated on 4/5/2012

  Affected Areas