Home > Emergencies > Tsunami

FAO in emergencies app

Download now!

Connect with us

The December 2004 tsunami ravaged coastal communities off the Indian Ocean

Tsunami

A tsunami or tidal-wave is a phenomenon caused by the displacement of a large body of water and resembling a rapidly rising tide lasting from a few minutes to several hours. Tsunamis are most of the time the result of an earthquake on the ocean/sea floor. The devastating effect of such disasters is created when the waves reach the coastline to sometimes reach several kilometers inland, destroying everything in their path.

The December 2004 tsunami ravaged coastal communities off the Indian Ocean, claiming nearly a quarter of a million lives in 12 countries. India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand were among the hardest hit. The death toll in the worst-affected region of Indonesia alone was more than 165 000, while thousands of kilometers of coastline in India were devastated.

The fisheries and aquaculture sectors suffered major setbacks. Thousands of boats, fishing nets and gear – as well as infrastructure, including ice plants and cold rooms – were damaged or destroyed. Crops, livestock and coastal ecosystems, such as mangroves and tree crops, were also severely damaged.

It was a disaster of unprecedented proportions, prompting an unprecedented outpouring of resources for recovery and reconstruction efforts. This presented an opportunity for governments and partners to work together to “build back better” – restoring livelihoods, rehabilitating ecosystems and improving the overall wellbeing and resilience of vulnerable communities.

In helping tsunami-affected fishing and farming families get back on their feet, for example, efforts were made by FAO and partners to ensure compliance with international environmental, health and safety standards, from boat construction to fisheries to the management of sustainable natural resources.
Likewise, after an 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck Chile in 2010, causing widespread damage and triggering a tsunami, FAO provided affected fishing communities with boats, motors, nets, diving equipment, ice machines and navigation kits, while working to improve safety standards and marketing opportunities.

Related Topics

 - Building a sustainable future for coastal communities from the bottom up - Youth from tsunami-affected fishing villages of four districts of the west coast in Nanggroe ...read more
22/01/2008
 - The Asian tsunami of 26 December 2004 killed nearly 300 000 people and devastated the livelihoods of millions more, many of them poor fishers and fish ...read more
20/12/2007
 - At a special debate on 'The Role of Aquaculture in Sustainable Development', President Mahinda Rajapakse of Sri Lanka thanked the international community for the rehabilitation of ...read more
21/11/2007
 - The American Red Cross and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have announced the launch of a new partnership to support the ...read more
10/05/2007
 - The Dinas Kelautan dan Perikanan (DKP) of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD) Province, with technical support from the FAO of the UN and the financial support of the American Red ...read more
31/01/2007
 - FAO today again urged authorities in tsunami-affected countries to redouble their efforts to ensure that fishing boats built to replace those destroyed during the 2004 disaster ...read more
28/03/2006
 - With the first anniversary of the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami fast approaching, FAO warned today that many areas on the west coast of Aceh, Indonesia, were ...read more
15/12/2005
 - Fishing communities in Yemen were much more seriously affected by the December 2004 tsunami than had been originally thought, with damages totalling around US$2.2 million and ...read more
10/08/2005
 - Six months after the devastating tsunami around the coasts of the Indian Ocean, strong coordination between governments, donors and aid organizations is essential to ensure that ...read more
23/06/2005
 -  Six months after the tsunami disaster, FAO continues to focus efforts on the rehabilitation of the food production in coastal communities. FAO Regional Coordinator of the tsunami ...read more
23/06/2005
1 2 3 4