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

 - On 26 December 2004, an earthquake off the west coast of Northern Sumatra led to the most destructive series of tsunamis in recorded history, killing more ...read more
22/12/2014
 - Ten years after the world’s worst natural disaster in living memory roared across the shorelines of South and Southeast Asia, countries are better prepared to deal ...read more
22/12/2014
 - With the ten year anniversary of the devastating Indian Ocean Tsunami just weeks away, representatives from ASEAN member countries are assessing the lessons they’ve learned and ...read more
25/11/2014
 - To recover and strengthen the fishing-based livelihoods of families affected by the 2004 tsunami in three communities of the Puntland region: Tohin, Hurdiya and Eyl.
03/02/2014
 - Organizations agree on a three-year action plan to improve the food security and resilience of vulnerable communities facing threats and disasters - FAO has signed a new partnership ...read more
17/10/2013
 - Producing enough food and income remain major challenges for Indonesians affected by the tsunami and earthquakes of 2004 and 2005. An FAO project funded by the European ...read more
23/09/2011
 - Presentation by John Kurien, FAO coordinator to post-tsunami recovery and development project in Banda Aceh province, financed by FAO and the American Red Cross in partnership ...read more
06/04/2011
 - For 25 years, civil conflict in Sri Lanka has led to large-scale population displacement and pushed millions of people into a situation of chronic poverty. In the ...read more
12/02/2009
 - Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar on 2 and 3 May, affecting some 2.4 million people and causing more devastation than any other natural disaster in the country’s ...read more
10/07/2008
 - Three years after the tsunami deadly hit Aceh, the fishers, the coastal communities, the state and several aid agencies continue to join efforts in rebuilding the ...read more
22/01/2008
1 2 3 4