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Tsunamis are natural disasters that destroy many places around the world. The most common places for tsunamis are Indonesia and Japan. It has a great impact, mentally and physically. Underwater earthquakes and volcanic eruptions cause several tsunamis each year although the impact of these devastating events can be reduced by planning out towns with ditches, waterways, and angled walls to steer the water.
These natural disasters can occur by a multitude of reasons. They can be caused by underwater landslides, volcanic eruptions, large meteorites landing in the ocean, causing disruption, or most commonly, “these destructive surges of water are caused by underwater earthquakes,”(“Tsunami Facts and Information”). The earthquakes are usually in the Ring of Fire, where tectonic plates push and slide past each other.
How it works
There are many historic events that are caused by these dangerous waves. For example, on August 27th, 1883, in Krakatau Indonesia, the Krakatau caldera volcano set of a tsunami, killing 40,000 people (Campbell), but this calamity was nothing compared to the tsunami in Sumatra, Indonesia. On December 26th of 2004, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake set off one of the most destructive tsunamis in history. The monster wave was around 1,300 kilometers long and 50 meters tall, reaching 5 kilometers inland. 230,000 people had died that day, with a devastating effect on people throughout the world.
Just recently there was an 7.5 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Palu, Indonesia. It set off a tsunami, that destroyed everything in its path. “Officials said Tuesday that at least 1,234 people had died, including 120 foreigners,”(“The New York Times”). As it said in an article by The New York Times, bridges made of sturdy metal collapsed, over 2,500 homes destroyed in Palo on September 28th, 2018. This was not as destructive as the other two tsunamis, but it still had a great effect on the rest of the world. 6,400 personnel were sent from the capital as search and rescue parties, finding people and evacuating them from the area, as well as recovering and burying the dead.
Typically, tsunami cleanup is never pretty, having to recover the dead and deal with devastated people. Aceh, the capital of Sumatra, helps out citizens when needed by providing food, and helping salvage and restore whatever they can. “This publication documents our evolution, from immediate food aid phase to the recovery and reconstruction phase, to providing backbone assistance through the shipping service to rehabilitating bridges and other much needed infrastructure,”(“The Past Present and Future: Aceh Tsunami Response, Recovery, and Preparedness”).
Even if they do their best to deal with damage after it hits, they could still do better by planning ahead and building the town to prevent damage. They could do this in many ways, including building “site building or infrastructure away from hazard area or locate on a high point,” ditches, slopes, angled walls, seawalls, and for after the tsunami, evacuation centers and mitigation structures(“Tsunami Mitigation and Prevention”). The damage of tsunamis can be limited by planning out the area susceptible to these disastrous wave trains to keep the citizens of that area safe and out of harm’s way. They just need to think about the future, and what may come.
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