The Indian Ocean Tsunami: The Global Response to a Natural Disaster

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Pradyumna P. Karan, Shanmugam P. Subbiah
University Press of Kentucky, Sep 29, 2010 - History - 328 pages
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On December 26, 2004, a massive tsunami triggered by an underwater earthquake pummeled the coasts of Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and other countries along the Indian Ocean. With casualties as far away as Africa, the aftermath was overwhelming: ships could be spotted miles inland; cars floated in the ocean; legions of the unidentified dead -- an estimated 225,000 -- were buried in mass graves; relief organizations struggled to reach rural areas and provide adequate aid for survivors.

Shortly after this disaster, researchers from around the world traveled to the region's most devastated areas, observing and documenting the tsunami's impact. The Indian Ocean Tsunami: The Global Response to a Natural Disaster offers the first analysis of the response and recovery effort. Editors Pradyumna P. Karan and S. Subbiah, employing an interdisciplinary approach, have assembled an international team of top geographers, geologists, anthropologists, and political scientists to study the environmental, economic, and political effects of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

The volume includes chapters that address the tsunami's geo-environmental impact on coastal ecosystems and groundwater systems. Other chapters offer sociocultural perspectives on religious power relations in South India and suggest ways to improve government agencies' response systems for natural disasters.

A clear and definitive analysis of the second deadliest natural disaster on record, The Indian Ocean Tsunami will be of interest to environmentalists and political scientists alike, as well as to planners and administrators of disaster-preparedness programs.


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1 The Tsunami Disaster on the Andaman Sea Coast of Thailand
2 The Geoenvironment and the Giant Tsunami Disaster in the Northern Part of Sumatra Island Indonesia
3 Geological and Geomorphological Perspectives of the Tsunami on the Tamil Nadu Coast India
4 Tsunami Inundations and Their Impact in the Kaveri River Delta Tamil Nadu India
5 Impact of the Tsunami on the Coastal Ecosystems of the Andaman Islands India
6 Environmental Damage in the Maldives from the Indian Ocean Tsunami
7 Tsumani Disasters in the Seenigama Village Sri Lanka and Taro Town Japan
9 The Role of NGOs in Tsunami Relief and Reconstruction in Cuddalore District South India
10 Sociocultural Frame Religious Networks Miracles
11 Achievements and Weaknesses in Posttsunami Reconstruction in Sri Lanka
12 Improving Governance Structures for Natural Disaster Response
13 Transnational Geopolitical Competition and Natural Disasters

8 Posttsunami Recovery in South Thailand with Special Reference to the Tourism Industry

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About the author (2010)

Pradyumna P. Karan, University Research Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Kentucky, is the author of Japan in the 21st Century, The Non-Western World, and coauthor of Local Environmental Movements: A Comparative Study of the United States and Japan.

S. Subbiah, professor emeritus of geography and director of the Centre for Japanese Studies and Research at the University of Madras in Chennai, India, is the author of Challenges to Asian Urbanization in the 21st Century and coauthor of Natural Hazards and Disasters: Essays on Impacts and Management. He is the editor of the Indian Geographical Journal and lives in Chennai, India.

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