Recovering from the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami: Lessons for Climate Change Response
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The impact, relief and recovery processes after the devastation caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami offer a number of lessons for building the resilience of the coast and coastal communities to overcome challenges associated with climate change. This chapter focuses on the response and recovery undertaken in the coastal state of Tamil Nadu, the worst affected state on the Indian mainland. These lessons are useful for facing climate change-related challenges, especially since India’s long coastline is subject to a variety of hazards such as cyclones and storm surges apart from sea-level rise which, on an annual basis, cause extensive damage to coastal areas, and which are expected to increase in intensity in the future. Thus the reduction of vulnerability has to be done in a planned and phased manner. Mainstreaming disaster risk reduction into development activities requires conducting a needs assessment to inform capacity building and livelihood enhancement initiatives and improving the horizontal and vertical coordination of activities that are likely to enable adaptation to various impacts due to climate change along the coast. Integrated coastal management offers opportunities to achieve these objectives.
KeywordsTsunami Tamil Nadu Vulnerability Resilience Risk reduction
The authors thank V. Vivekanandan, Annie George and Satish Babu for many useful discussions.
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