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Tsunami Disaster, What Implication on Economic System in This Region?

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We view with awe a release of power on this scale. We know that this power is greater than that of our species Ð'-- nature holds us in its hands. We may be able to mitigate some of the consequences; in some cases we may be able to give advance warning of the threat; but we are not in control; the tsunami has demonstrated this ancient truth.

William Rees-Mogg


1. On the morning of December 26, 2004 a magnitude 9.3 earthquake struck off the Northwest coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The earthquake resulted from complex slip on the fault where the oceanic portion of the Indian Plate slides under Sumatra, part of the Eurasian Plate. The earthquake deformed the ocean floor, pushing the overlying water up into a tsunami wave. The tsunami wave devastated nearby areas where the wave may have been as high as 25 meters (80 feet) tall and killed nearly 300,000 people from nations in the region and tourists from around the world. The tsunami wave itself also traveled the globe, and was measured in the Pacific and many other places by tide gauges. Measurements in California exceeded 40 cm in height, while New Jersey saw water level fluctuations as great as 34 cm .

2. Named the biggest earthquake in 40 years struck off the coast of North Sumatra, creating the greatest human catastrophe in living memory. The epicenter of the quake, on the shallow ocean floor, caused a major tsunami to sweep through the Bay of Bengal, the Andaman Sea, and the Indian Ocean. Human casualties exceeding 260,000 and massive damage to property had been reported in Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar), South Asia (India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh), Eastern Africa (Somalia and Tanzania) and the Maldives.


3. The aim of this paper is to examine Tsunami disaster that happened on December 26, 2005, in brief, and its implication on economic system particularly to the impact of South East Asia region. Subsequently, I will further examine the destruction of economy on short and long term impact. In realizing this, the yardstick that is use is the measurement index created by World Bank. The paper will focus in brief to the whole country that affected by the disaster but main focus will be on South East Asia, the regional limitation as per topic given to me. At length, I will discuss on economy that effecting three larger Southeast Asian economies - Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia.


4. Scope of this paper are as follows:

a. Tsunami Ð'- What Are They?

b. South East Asia Economic Resources.

c. Aftershock And Aftermath Loses.

d. Economic Impact.

e. Conclusion.

f. Recommendations.


5. Tsunamis are not wind-generated waves. Rather, they are shallow-water waves, with long periods (time between two sucessional waves) and wave lengths (distance between two sucessional waves). The wind-generated swell one sees at a California beach, for example, spawned by a storm out in the Pacific and rhythmically rolling in might have a period of about 10 seconds and a wave length of 150 m. A tsunami, on the other hand, can have a wavelength in excess of 100 kilometer and period on the order of one hour. As a result of their long wave lengths, tsunamis behave as shallow-water waves . A wave becomes a shallow-water wave when the ratio between the water depth and its wave length gets very small. Shallow-water waves move at a speed that is equal to the square root of the product of the acceleration of gravity and the water depth. In the Pacific Ocean, where the typical water depth is about 4,000 meter, a tsunami travels at about 200 meter per second, or over 700 kilometer per hour. However, when the ocean is 6,100 meter deep, unnoticed tsunami travel about 890 kilometer per hour, the speed of a jet airplane. It can move from one side of the Pacific Ocean to the other side in less than one day. Because the rate at which a wave loses its energy is inversely related to its wave length, tsunamis not only propagate at high speeds, they can also travel great, transoceanic distances with limited energy losses .

Physics of Tsunami

6. The phenomenon we call a tsunami (soo-NAH-mee) is a series of waves of extremely long wave length and long period generated in a body of water by an impulsive disturbance that displaces the water. Tsunamis are primarily associated with earthquakes in oceanic and coastal regions. Landslides, volcanic eruptions, nuclear explosions, and even impacts of objects from outer space (such as meteorites, asteroids, and comets) can also generate tsunamis.

7. As the tsunami crosses the deep ocean, its length from crest to crest may be a hundred miles or more, and its height from crest to trough will only be a few feet or less. They can not be felt aboard ships nor can they be seen from the air in the open ocean. In the deepest oceans, the waves will reach speeds exceeding 970 kilometer per hour. When the tsunami enters the shoaling water of coastlines in its path, the velocity of its waves diminishes and the wave height increases. It is in these shallow waters that a large tsunami an crest to heights exceeding 30 meter and strike with devastating force.

8. The term tsunami was adopted for general use in 1963 by an international scientific conference. Tsunami is a Japanese word represented by two characters: "tsu" and "nami". The character "tsu" means harbor, while the character "nami" means wave. In the past, tsunamis were often referred to as "tidal waves" by many English speaking people. The term "tidal wave" is a misnomer. Tides are the result of gravitational influences of the moon, sun, and planets. Tsunamis are unrelated to the tides; although a tsunami striking a coastal area is influenced by the tide level at the time of impact. Also in the past, the scientific community referred to tsunamis as "seismic sea waves". "Seismic" implies an earthquake-related mechanism of generation. Although tsunamis are usually generated by earthquakes, tsunamis are less commonly caused by landslides, infrequently by volcanic eruptions, and very rarely by a large meteorite impact in the ocean.

9. As a tsunami leaves the



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