|AERIAL SURVEY OF TSUNAMI
AFFECTED AREAS IN ACEH, INDONESIA
On the 11th of January a team from the Ministry of Agriculture, the
Marine Affairs and Fisheries Ministry and FAO flew from Medan to Banda
Aceh along the Eastern coast and then again along Western coast up
to Kuala Tripa in Nagan Raya district.
The western coast has been seriously damaged and it will take a long
time for recovery. The paddy fields are covered by mud and the boundaries
have disappeared. Irrigation and drainage facilities were also damaged.
Some strips of agricultural lands have simply disappeared, either
due to erosion or land subsidence. Clearly the West coast is showing
an important fraction of land which should be classified as High
damage Class C [see the FAO framework] and for which the options
for future should be discussed openly.
||The total survey length was
717 km, 437 km along the Eastern coast, 280 km along the Western
coast. Lhokseumawe, in the eastern coast, was identified as
the start of the tsunami affected area. On average the section
affected was about 1 km inland along the eastern coast. A feature
of this eastern coast is that brackish water ponds cover the
first 500m from the seashore, which are then followed by the
The aerial survey revealed that a lot of brackish water aquaculture
has been damaged and paddy fields have been covered by saline
water. However, the boundaries of the paddy fields are still
visible. The vessels and fishing boats were destroyed together
with the port.
The issue of damage on lands and recovery is a serious one that bears
Some lands are no longer usable for agriculture;
Some lands no longer have owners;
Boundaries of field properties have disappeared; cadastre destroyed thus making restoration of land titles and inheritance a serious issue.
Coastal reconstruction plans should be developed by local communities in a consistent manner with national guidelines.