Firstly, on the factor on the lack of development, developing countries do not yet have the technology to advance and prepare themselves for a tsunami. Examples are countries such as Indonesia and India, where the development of technology is very minimal, causing great destruction in both places. In Indonesia, there was a lack of development in technology, resulting in no proper warning system in place for the residents to know when a tsunami is coming. There were no tsunami warning systems in the Indian Ocean to detect tsunamis or to warn the general populace living around the ocean.
Tsunami detection is not easy because while a tsunami is in deep water it has little height and a network of sensors is needed to detect it. If a country does not have the development in technology to build the suitable warning system, there will be a very low chance of survival if you are living close to the coast, where the risk and danger are the highest from the tsunami. Disseminating the information in Indonesia is a big problem too as the technology required for the dissipation of the warnings to the coastal areas were not there during the period before the tsunami in Asia struck.
A country also needs to have the necessary technology to set up relief efforts just after a disaster strikes. The death toll will be higher if there is little or no relief efforts made. Setting up the communications infrastructure to issue timely warnings is an even bigger problem, particularly in a relatively poor part of the world where development in technology is poor. You will also need the development in infrastructure to maximize the safety of the people. The buildings must not be built on floodplains as the stability is very weak.
Development in infrastructure also needs to have development in technology as the suitable material to be used for construction of the various housing estates and buildings need to be a specific one that can hold even when a tsunami comes. However, for developing countries such as Indonesia where technology has not been fully developed, the usage of another weak material to build buildings is highly probable as reports have shown that many of the buildings that could not withstand a tsunami off the coast.
If they had the development in technology and infrastructure, protection could be induced such as levees. Japan, who had the technology, built many tsunami walls of up to 4. 5 metres (15 ft) to protect populated coastal areas. Other localities have built floodgates and channels to redirect the water from incoming tsunami. This can help to slow and moderate the speed and height of the tsunami, preventing destruction. There must also be adequate development in the economic sector as the country needs to have the resources to construct all these buildings.
Without the capital, you cannot construct different buildings. In a poor country such as Indonesia, where monetary issues are common, tsunami-resistant buildings are seldom seen. All these factors and examples show that development of technology, infrastructure and economy are very important to a country’s capability with a tsunami. If they had the technology, warning services and dissemination could be in place. The death toll could be smaller. If they had the infrastructural development, buildings would not have collapsed so easily and added to the debris. The death toll could be smaller.
If they had the development in the economy, income could be easily produced and could contribute to the construction of tsunami-resistant structures. If any of these factors are missing, the country is likely to be at a high risk from a tsunami. Secondly, on the factor on population growth, developing countries have a high population growth and then this led to many people in the countries. The population growth was especially concentrated along the coastline of the countries. Examples are in Sri Lanka and Phuket. These parts are low-lying therefore attracting many people to stay there.
Rapid population growth led to more developed use of tarmac land along the coastline. With the removal of mangroves in Aceh and the building of tourist resorts in Phuket, the coastal landscape was gradually reduced to concrete resorts and tar roads that spoiled the scenery and allowed the tsunami to wreck havoc on the coast of Indonesia. This resulted in an extreme death toll of 226000 killed and 500000 missing in the coastal city of Aceh. If there had not been so many people living so close to the shorelines of the coast, the death toll could perhaps be lesser as people were not so severely affected further inland.
With the removal of mangroves in India, the tsunami generated a much larger impact on areas where mangroves had been removed than areas where the mangroves were still intact. This was also made from population growth and mangroves had been cleared to make space for housing and other industrial needs. This shows that population growth affects the death toll as more people are killed along the rapidly population-growing costal villages and towns such as in Banda Aceh. Thirdly, on the factor of land pressure which means the intensity of the land use, this can also contribute to the damage of the Asian tsunami.
Land pressure can be seen in Banda Aceh, where population growth has led to buildings being constructed on low-lying areas closely packed together. In India, slums built near the coasts are also packed like sardines. This has negative effects. The first, being that the tsunami will be able to hit at one point causing a lot of damage to that area as the buildings are all situated together. As they are concentrated together, it can prevent the sea from causing further devastation inland, but it can completely wipe out the population and constructions in that low-lying area packed with many buildings.
People will also not be able to escape easily due to the close-knitted organization of the buildings with few alleyways to escape and also due to the massive amount of rushing debris that will hinder the escape route. The land will feel the pressure from the big load of buildings constructed on it and will weaken by the years. As because of the lack of development of technology and infrastructure, the land that the buildings are built on may not be stable enough to carry the load of structures.
The material of the infrastructure may not be of high quality, resulting in total collapse when a tsunami of such high magnitude like the Asian Tsunami occurs. I feel that the factor that contributed to the largest extent in the 2004 Asian Tsunami was the lack of development based on the criteria of being the underlying basis. The lack of development in technology, infrastructure and economy was the underlying basis for the population growth and usage of the land-land pressure. Population growth happened because people near coastal areas have not developed ideas of family planning.
Therefore, the old tradition of the more children the better still prevailed in these areas, leading to rapid population growth. Furthermore, people may have perceptions that the more children, the more prosperous a family. This is due to a lack of development in the country and citizens were not taught family planning. As for the intensity in land use, this came as a result of the high population growth. As population increased, space had to be put aside for housing. Therefore, the buildings are closely packed together and mangrove plantations were removed to make space for residential estates.
This can be seen in Aceh, Indonesia. In a nutshell, land pressure and population growth resulted because of the lack of development, the root from which problems sprouted. In conclusion, as seen from the example in Indonesia, the lack of development in various sectors, the high rate of population growth and the pressure that the land was facing resulted in different faults around the coastal regions. However, as the lack of development was the underlying basis for the high rate of population growth and the pressure that the land was facing, I feel that the lack development contributed to a large extent to the 2004 Asian Tsunami.