Natural Disasters By: Asia gardner

2004 Boxing Day Earthquake & Tsunami

Human wellbeing is an overall measure of a persons/peoples ability to access the things required to live a happy, healthy and contented life. I have chosen to investigate natural disasters and how they effect human wellbeing. The specific natural disaster I have chosen is the 2004 Banda Aceh earthquake and tsunami. This disaster effected over 14 countries from Asia to Africa. The countries that suffered major threats are the less economically developed countries, such as: Bangladesh, Madagascar and Somalia. The other countries that were effected, but are not less economically developed countries are: Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Maldives, Seychelles, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Burma and part of Malaysia. My inquiry will go through the causes of the earthquake and tsunami, its impacts on the people and the land and the support they received to assist the people and places.


The 2004 boxing day earthquake and tsunami were caused when the Indian plate was subjected by then Burma plate. A subduction zone is cause when the two plates make contact and one is subducted (pulled under). Once this occurs a massive amount of pent up energy is released. This particular earthquake ranged form 9.1 on the richter scale to 9.3. It is said to have been the second largest earthquake to occur since we have been able to record them. The energy released when the Burma plate came into contact with the Indian plate is said to have been so powerful it was equivalent to 23,000 Hiroshima bombings. The result of this released energy were 68 after shocks and a tsunami. This tsunami went to more that 14 different countries. Destroying many homes, livelihoods and taking the lives of many people. The tsunami was the result of the pent up energy being releases and causing a underwater earthquake. As a result of this 1200Km of land shifted. The tsunami wasn't a threat at first, then it came into contact with shallow waters which caused the sea beds to move on impact due to all of its stored energy. This energy was released as a tsunami. The tsunami and earthquake had many impacts on human wellbeing as many of the things we require to survive were destroyed.

The People & Land Effected

The 2004 Indonesian earthquake and tsunami had a lot of effects on the people and land. This effected their wellbeing across the board as many became even more misfortunate than they already were. During the time of the earthquake and tsunami 275,000 people across the 14 countries lost their lives. 141,000 houses had been completely destroyed and 600,000 people lost their livelihoods. It is reported that 40,000 - 45,000 more women died than men trying to save and protect children. In Indonesia a survey was done prior to the tsunami, this survey showed us that there were more than 500 communities living on the coastline the hardest place hit. After the tsunami had retreated nothing form these communities could be salvaged. The only thing left was the erosion of the coast line. However the impacts on some countries were worse than others. Somalia a less economically developed war torn country was hit. This left their wellbeing in a poorer state than it was before. Their livelihoods had been destroyed as it mostly consisted of sea fishing and backyard gardening. The tsunami resulted in 600 boats getting lost and 289 people dying. People in Sri Lanka were hit directly as well as the people in Thailand, who were able to deploy 50,000 rescue workers. Whole islands were washed away resulting in mass emergency and panic.

Aid fot the effected

After the hits from the earthquake and tsunami the world was quick to respond in financial aid. Organisations such as the International Federation of Red Cross provided 480,700 people with assistance. Given 51, 395 people new homes and built 289 hospitals. A total of 6.25bn was donated. A lot of money was donated by a lot of people, organisations, governments countries and companies. Most of the countries governments donated around 100 million dollars. 1 billion was donated by Australia along with 350 military staff and 4 helicopters. The US military donated $250 million dollars. In Somalia bottled water and 218 tonnes of food were donated, after losing the livelihoods there was not a stable way to get food or drinking water. This really effected their wellbeing. In order to help prevent something like this occurring again a $450 million dollar tsunami warning system has been put int he Indian ocean. The governments have also increased the number of deep sea buoys in the ocean from 6 to 60. To help restoration of the coasts 56,000 mangrove trees have been planted. These trees will help prevent the erosion from further spreading, will protect the coasts from erosion and will help stop erosion from occurring.

Mangrove Trees

What has been discussed?

This inquiry has discussed the main effects of the 2004 boxing day tsunami and earthquake on human wellbeing. It discussed the effects of the earthquake and tsunami. The lives that were taken from us. The cause of it. The homes physically and emotionally broken and how the world came together to support and aid the damaged countries. The response of the government was very generous they all joined together, donated money, food, water and officers to help. All of the aid received and the generous donations by the countries and their governments showed a point in time where we were all united and we all had the same goal to hep those who needed it. But most of the non government contributors were made up of individuals that chose to keep their identities secret. This was a really humble thing to do and it really helped and assisted in the recovery of the countries and people. To improve these countries human wellbeing many of the governments could have sent volunteers out to work. To help with construction, rationing food and medical services. This could have ensured that people are doing okay. Even if money is sent you would still have to find a sufficient amount of people to do this work, especially in the medical field as that is one thing that less economically developed countries lack.


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Created By
Asia Gardner


Created with images by DFAT photo library - "Tsunami 2004 aftermath. Aceh, Indonesia, 2005. Photo: AusAID" • Bindue - "philippines slums manila" • US Army Africa - "Natural Fire 10 Opens, U.S. Army Africa, Kitgum, Uganda 091016" • dwhartwig - "IMG_0992" • Hans - "high water wave inject"

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