Effect of 2004 Tsunami on Economy of India
The earthquake of December 2004 is well known as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake and is the fourth largest earthquake in the world since 1900. This was an under-sea earthquake, which happened at 7:58:53 am local time. The epicenter of this earthquake was in the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. As an effect of this earthquake, Tsunamis occurred throughout the Indian Ocean, killing loads of people and caused immeasurable damage to the coastal areas all over South-East Asia. The damage caused to the coasts of India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand is indescribable. The world wide death toll is roughly estimated to be about 275,000. The magnitude of the earth-quake was recorded as between the ranges of 9.1 and 9.3. The destruction caused by the Tsunami in the different parts of India is as follows.
In India, the worst hit areas were the states of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Tsunami's effect on the coasts of Tamil Nadu was devastating. The effect of Tsunami on the islands of Andaman and Nicobar is unforgettable. India had the Third highest death toll. The death toll rate was recorded to be the most in Tamil Nadu, at about 8,800. The death toll in Andaman, Nicobar Islands was noted to be about 11,316 and 600 for Pondicherry. It has been estimated that over 5,400 people are still to be found, overall.
India was probably the most developed country amongst all the Tsunami hit countries. It perhaps has the strongest economy. Therefore, although India was badly affected by the Tsunamis, it was able to handle the condition without much foreign aid.
The destruction caused by the Tsunami eventually was over $1.6 billion. This exceeded the estimated losses of US$ 600 millions as originally expected by the officials.
The Indian fishing groups were adversely affected by the Tsunami. The most notable damage was to that of Nagapatnam, a fishing town in Tamil Nadu. Many fishing vessels were damaged and the cost to repair them was estimated to be over US$125 million. This amount also included buying of new nets and other accessories required for fishing.
In Chennai, those who were playing and jogging at the beach were washed away by the devastating Tsunami. The nuclear power station at Kalpakkam was shut down because of the sea water rushed into the pump station. Luckily, no radiation leak or damage to the reactor was reported. Pilgrims, who were taking a holy bath in the sea, were taken away by the waves, in the town of Kanyakumari.
The Andaman and the Nicobar Islands comprises of 572 islands in which 38 are inhabited. The inhabitants are from the mainland as well as the historical tribes. The islands lie in the north of the earthquake's epicenter. It has been reported that the waves reached a height of 15 meters. The official death toll was 812, and about 7,000 are still missing.
The Great Nicobar and Car Nicobar islands were the worst hit amongst all the islands. Although the Tsunamis are over, aftershocks continue to rock the area. It is said that roughly one fifth of the population of the Nicobar Islands were dead. Among the casualties in the Car Nicobar islands, 100 Indian Air Force officers, and their family members were washed away when the waves hit their air base. The only active volcano of India, volcano, Barren 1, is located at the Barren Island. This volcano erupted because of the increased seismic activity, on 30 December 2004.
Owning to the effect of the Tsunami on the islands of Andaman and Nicobar, the number of tourists visiting the islands decreased tremendously. However, the island's officials are determined to get the numbers back on track and they believe that the exposure that the island had gotten could bring more tourists to the islands in the future. The islands are specially known for their beautiful beaches, marine life and scuba diving. Prior to the Tsunamis, the number of tourists visiting the islands was growing steadily for the just about 10,000 in the 1980s to about 90,000 in 2003. The numbers were expected to increase to about 100 000 by 2004. Therefore, it was pretty unfortunate that the Tsunamis struck then, bringing a rapid decline to the number of tourist arrivals. The Indian government is committed to the development of a tsunami warning system for the Indian Ocean. It will cost about US$27 million to implement.