Effects of Tsunamis
• After the rescue of survivors, the primary public health concerns are clean drinking water, food, shelter, and medical care for injuries.
• Flood waters can pose health risks such as contaminated water and food supplies.
• Loss of shelter leaves people vulnerable to insect exposure, heat, and other environmental hazards.
• The majority of deaths associated with tsunamis are related to drowning, but traumatic injuries are also a primary concern. Injuries such as broken limbs and head injuries are caused by the physical impact of people being washed into debris such as houses, trees, and other stationary items. As the water recedes, the strong suction of debris being pulled into large populated areas can further cause injuries and undermine buildings and services.
• Medical care is critical in areas where little medical care exists.
Natural disasters do not necessarily cause an increase in infectious disease outbreaks. However, contaminated water and food supplies as well as the lack of shelter and medical care may have a secondary effect of worsening illnesses that already exist in the affected region. Decaying bodies create very little risk of major disease outbreaks. The people most at risk are those who handle the bodies or prepare them for burial.
The effects of a disaster last a long time. The greater need for financial and material assistance is in the months after a disaster, including: surveying and monitoring for infectious and water- or insect-transmitted diseases; diverting medical supplies from non-affected areas to meet the needs of the affected regions; restoring normal primary health services, water systems, housing, and employment; and assisting the community to recover mentally and socially when the crisis has subsided.
History and analysis both indicate that the economic recovery of the nations most adversely affected will be rapid, although it will take longer in the resorts and coastal regions hit the hardest. it is worth spending considerably more to provide better early warning systems about the future occurrence of earthquakes and tsunamis, asteroids that might strike the earth, and other catastrophes. But no matter how much is spent and how much planning takes place, natural catastrophes will continue and will sometimes be unexpected.
Environmental Consequence Precious coral reefs and mangrove areas would be crushed by the huge tsunami waves that have devastated southern Asia, an environmental and economic setback that could take years to reverse. The reefs would be severely damaged due to them having to bear the brunt of the forceful walls of water. When the waves get close to shore, their height is amplified and they release all their energy, decimating everything in their paths, including mangrove areas that act as nursery habitats to fish and shrimp would also be destroyed by the strong waves. According to scientists, reef-forming coral grows only about 0.5 cm, or 1/5 inch a year, thus for the seaside resorts on the affected areas to regain their previous splendour could take several years to a decade. The worst marine damage would likely be concentrated 100m to 1km from shore.