Aceh Tsunami

On the 26th December 2004, Banda Aceh, Indonesia, was hit with a Tsunami with wave heights as high as 30 metres. It was one of the deadliest natural disaster ever happening in history. The Tsunami has killed about 230 000 people and made 500 000 others homeless. Aceh was one of the hardest-hit areas by the tsunami caused by the Indian Ocean earthquake of magnitude of 9.3 according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre. This earthquake is the second largest earthquake ever recorded by a seismograph.

The earthquake which had resulted in the tsunami, was caused by the tectonic movement of the Indian and Burma plate. At these plate boundaries, 2 activities happened. First was the subducting of the Indian plate under the Burma plate. Second was the faulting of both plates where both slides past each other, one moving upwards and the other moving downwards, causing a large displacement in height of the sea water. As a result, tsunami waves were formed due to the displacement of about 30 km3 of water.

Aceh was not only the place being hit with the Tsunami. Countries like India and Sri Lanka was also affected. Others that are known are affected mostly by the earthquake.

Due to the tsunami, Aceh's infrastructure was greatly affected. Most of its buildings are destroyed leaving their citizens homeless and unaided. Hence, many neighbouring countries have come forward to help the country in providing the daily necessities and health care to the people.

Economically, the country was affected as the coastal fishing communities and fisherfolks were unable to generate their only way of income. Environmentally, pollutions happened and these affected the ecosystem in some ways. Tourism in the country has also declined drastically eversince the disaster.

Rebuilding and recoveringf of the city has taken a long time as the country has lost about US$4.5 billion. t has received monetary aid from the World Bank to rebuild it's city. Aceh has also decided to build a tsunami detecting system so that the country will be more prepared when another tsunami is bound to happen in the future. The country believes that another tsunami may happen in the future since such natural disasters are more prone to happen these few years.

The tsunami that happened in Aceh has made the world realise how important it is to be ever ready for such natural disasters that can occur anytime without any warning. Therefore, it is advisable to install a detecting system than to lose many innocent lives due to such disasters in the future.

By Nurul Atiqah (10S01)

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