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Indian Ocean Tsunami - A Case Study

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Indian Ocean Tsunami - A Case Study - Lesson Summary

The lithosphere is made up of a series of huge plates which are in constant motion. When two plates collide against each other, one of the plates may slide below the other causing an underwater earthquake. An underwater earthquake is the most common cause of a tsunami.

A tsunami is a series of huge waves caused by the shifting of large amounts of ocean water. Tsunamis are also caused by volcanic eruptions and underwater landslides.

The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, also called Asian Tsunami was the most devasting Tsunami in the history. The wave was the result of an earthquake with the epicentre close to Sumatra.

The 2004 tsunami killed almost 2,00,000 people, destroyed property and 1000s of miles of coastline, leaving millions of people homeless. The devastation was so much that it completely washed away some of the islands in the Indian Ocean. The Indira Point, in Andaman and Nicobar islands which marks the southern-most tip of India, was completely submerged.

Though it is difficult to predict an earthquake in advance, it is possible to give a three-hour notice of a potential tsunami. The three factors primarily responsible for the huge damage to life and property in the 2004 tsunami were lack of monitoring, lack of early warning systems and inadequate knowledge among the coastal dwellers.


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