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Indian Ocean Tsunami 2004

Updated on February 3, 2013

LEDC Tsunami

This is a Geography case study for LEDC Tsunamis.

This will be an easy to learn GCSE level case study for Geography. I'll include other resources to assist you in improving your knowledge and grades.

Bold Text = Important

Bold and Underlined Text = Super Important

The Basics

Where: Epicentre was 60 miles off W Coast Northern Sumatra, Indonesia

Time: 7:58 am, 26th December 2004

Scale: 9.0 Richter Scale

Death toll: >230,000 killed or missing


As you can see above, the earthquake hit right beside Indonesia. The 2 plates were subducting under each other, which caused the creation of the Java trench. The Indo-Australian plates is constantly being pushed under the Eurasian plate, but this time it got stuck. The sticking was due to friction, and when released caused an earthquake. But as there was an amount of water that was displaced, so created a Tsunami. This caused the most damage, but the fact there were no disaster warnings in place made it all worse.

It's useful to be able to give a rough sketch of the epicentre and plate margins if you are going to use this case study for the exam!

Effects of Tsunami

These will mostly be primary effects, but a few secondary effects are here, and they are the subsequent, and eventual effects of the event:

230,000 killed or missing1.7 million people displaced (homeless)Infrastructure badly damaged5-6 million in need of aid - food and basic suppliesEconomy damaged:
  • Fishermen lost livelihoods
  • Tourism fell as people were scared
  • Primary and secondary sector workers jobless due to damage to workplaces
Environmental damage:
  • Damage from salt water on mangroves, forests, fields and sand dunes
  • Coral reefs damaged

Short Term

The short term is the damage, issues and events within a 1-2 week time frame:

Hundreds of millions in pounds were raised by governments, charities, businesses and individuals for the relief effortCountries sent ships, planes, soldiers and specialists to help with the clean up, give out supplies, to repair damage and give out aid

Long Term

The long term is the resulting future plans of the government, people or world who were affected or who wish to help, and this is usually within a 2 week - 2 year time frame (some of which will never truly be completed due to financial problems):

Billions of pounds have been pledged to rebuild the infrastructure of the affected countriesProgrammes have been set up to rebuild and get people to work againTsunami warning systems have been put in place, with the Pacific warning system being integrated into the Indian ocean warning system, to get global warnings about geological natural disasters - tsunamis and earthquakesDisaster management plans have been put in place and volunteers have been trained so locals know what to do in case of another disaster

The Important Stuff

26th December 2004

Indo-australian plate subducting under Eurasian plate

>230,000 dead or missing

Infrastructure, economy & environment damaged

Aid & Billions of pounds pledged to help repairs

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