TSUNAMIS BECOME DISASTERS BECAUSE OF THE HUMAN CONTEXT IN WHICH THEY OCCUR.
DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH THIS STATEMENT?
USE EXAMPLES OF KNOWN TSUNAMI EVENTS RECENTLY AND IN THE PAST TO ILLUSTRATE YOUR ARGUMENT.
It is easier to see a disaster as devastating when human loss is apparent. But loss of lives isn’t the only way in which humans can be affected by Mother Nature. Infrastructure and resources being wiped out in a matter of minutes due to a tsunami can economically ruin cities and countries, essentially crippling the quality of human life.
Definition of tsunami:
A tsunami is a series of waves that is generated by a displacement of water, causing a massive release of energy. The most frequent tsunamis are initiated by an earthquake shifting the tectonic plates under the ocean floor. They can also be caused by volcanic eruptions, glacial carving, meteorite impacts or landslides. (Gunatillake 2007).
Offshore (origin of the tsunami), the waves are characterised by very long wavelengths and their amplitudes are much smaller. The waves can be as tiny as 10 centimetres making them difficult to detect, as such a small change in the waves is not likely to be felt or seen out in the ocean. The wave travels incredibly quickly along the water (up to 1,000 km/h). As the wave travels towards shallower water near coast lines, the water slows down (10 km/h), while the amplitude of the wave increases dramatically as shown in Figure 1. These large waves were found to have reached heights of up to 30 metres (retrieved on 12 March 2012 ). The impact of such a huge amount of water carried inland is very destructive.
Figure 1: Illustrates how a tsunami wave increases with amplitude as it makes its way closer to the shore.
The impact of a natural disaster is not determined entirely by the magnitude of the event itself, but also by the ability of a community to preempt, respond and recover to the disaster.
Definitions of disaster:
Cannon in 2000...