Case Study 2 Week 1: the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami

(I forgot to finish this and submit it before)

My event is the tsunami that happened in the Indian Ocean in December 2004. The countries that it affected the most were Indonesia, Thailand, India, and Sri Lanka.

The plate boundary in the area that the tsunami occurred was a subduction zone, where the Indian plate is subducting beneath the Burma plate. The type of event was a tsunami as a result of an undersea megathrust earthquake.

I think that the most interesting thing that I’ve learned so far is that the earthquake that caused this tsunami was the third-largest earthquake ever recorded via seismograph.


Case Study 2 Week 3

Sources Found that talk about the Human Impact:

The Second Case Study- Tsunami


My favorite resource that I found was probably the Youtube link. I chose this one because if you are looking at it wanting to know the human impact then watching a video is better than reading an article. The video will help you tap into the emotion of the people that were involved in this Tsunami (or any disaster). I think most of this information is accurate, however, due to the media involvement everything must be taken with a grain of salt.

Case study 2 sources: Tohoku Tsunami


This article is about the effects by day after the tsunami.



This sight has images labeled with information about the earthquake and tsunami of areas affected. It is provided by NASA so it is trustworthy.


This article has information on the effects after and during the initial disaster.


This site also has data on the earthquake, tsunami and damages.

Case Study 2 Week 3: The Human Impact of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami

The first link that I found was written a year after the tsunami, and details the failings of the Sri Lankan government to adequately care for the victims of the tsunami, tens of thousands of who were still homeless at the time. That can be found here: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2005/12/sri2-d29.html

The second article talks about how some islands were made uninhabitable as an effect of the tsunami. Many farms were destroyed when salt water got into the fields, and many wells were poisoned when they were contaminated with salt water. The process of repairing the wells is so expensive that it’s almost impossible for a small village to accomplish. https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn6840-tsunamis-salt-water-may-leave-islands-uninhabitable/

The third article I found was very interesting. It talked about how peoples’ faith was affected by the tsunami. It has several comments from religious leaders such as reverends and monks, and also people who had their faith shaken by the tsunami. It got me thinking about how those kinds of incidents can change the fundamental way of life of the people affected. The article also mentions that people of various faiths were working together and allowing those of other religions to be buried in their cemeteries. In a region where differences of opinions can be deadly, it’s good to see that some good can come out of such a destructive event. Based on the fact that this article is made up mostly of quotes, I’m willing to accept it as pretty accurate, though I don’t really have any way to verify these quotes. It is released through the Associated Press, though, so that’s usually a reliable source.  https://www.baylor.edu/mediacommunications/index.php?id=25982

Human Impact Week 3

While researching for this assignment I found four different resources for the megatsunami at Lituya Bay.

  1. Science of Tsunami Hazards, http://library.lanl.gov/tsunami/ts205.pdf
  2. Surviving the Biggest Wave Ever, http://www.sitnews.us/Kiffer/LituyaBay/070808_lituya_bay.html
  3. “Wildest Alaska: Journeys of Great Peril in Lituya Bay”, By Philip Fradkin
  4.  “Mrs. Jeanice Welsh Killed in Yakutat Earthquake,”  https://alaskahistoricalsociety.org/jeanice-welsh-alaska-cannerywoman-2/

The resource I found the most interesting was the Science of Tsunami Hazards, because of the exurb from Bill Swanson.

“The glacier had risen in the air and moved forward so it was in sight. It must have risen several hundred feet. I don’t mean it was just hanging in the air. It seems to be solid, but it was jumping and shaking like crazy. Big chunks of ice were falling off the face of it and down into the water. That was six miles away and they still looked like big chunks. They came off the glacier like a big load of rocks spilling out of a dump truck. That went on for a little while – its hard to tell just how long – and then suddenly the glacier dropped back out of sight and there was a big wall of water going over the point.”

Swanson’s story has never been proven that the glacier rose several hundred feet into the air,  but he told the story over and over to people though his years. Perhaps there was another natural phenomenon that occurred that we don’t know about or maybe Swanson was dazed by a hard day of fishing. Either way I don’t think his first hand experience in the megatsunami should be written off.

Tsunami Stop Disasters! game

I think that this game did a good job of accurately portraying the role that prevention and education plays in helping to keep lives from being lost. I ran out of money and couldn’t do nearly as much as I wanted to do to save lives, which is also probably extremely accurate. I think that one of the things that I found annoying was the inability to upgrade more than one building at once. The user interface of the game could use work.

Case Study 2 Week 2: Monitoring and Mitigation Efforts in the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami

I’m going to summarize the results I found when I looked in to the mitigation efforts put in place in the areas that were hit by the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

Basically, there weren’t any. This tsunami is the second deadliest natural disaster in the last 100 years, killing around 250,000 people. This is directly due to both the lack of an Early Warning System for tsunamis in the the Indian Ocean, and due to the fact that when people built homes and buildings in these regions, they made no effort to protect themselves in the event of a tsunami. The areas that were hit had overcrowded, poor citizens that couldn’t afford to build houses with tsunami-resistant materials, and the hotels that were built on the beaches were only built to hold tourists and have good views. In addition, the local governments hadn’t enacted any sort of zoning restrictions for high-risk areas, which could have prevented tens of thousands of lost lives.

Week 2 Assignment 3

Mapping of the area started when French explore La Perouse explored and mapped the Bay in 1786. Since 1786 until the tsunami event of 1958, few maps of the area were made. The maps that I did find were mostly simple and showed  where the rockslide occurred and the height of the wave damage. The most useful map I found is from a 1960 report by Don J. Miller for the Geological Survey. The topographic map shows the setting and effects after the 1985 tsunami, with the trimlines of the upper limit of destruction, the rockslide, and even where the three fishing boats where located during the event. I find the map useful now looking back at the event, but if I lived in the area, I would not think the area hazardous based on similar maps.

Week 2 – Game

One thing the game helped put into prospective about tsunamis was education. The more education and safety signage invested in the community the more lives saved. Now of course this isn’t happening in every community where tsunamis occur, but whole countries like Chile are putting in an effort to educate it’s citizen about what do in an emergency.

With a click of the mouse, I was able to educate the school or hospital about emergency procedures, which in real life would not happen. That part was too easy and not very realistic in my mind.


Unit 6 – Week 1

The 1958 Lituya Bay tsunami that occurred in Southeast Alaska into a narrow inlet. The tsunami was triggered on July 9th from an earthquake that took place on the transform Fairweather Fault. The tsunami occurred on the transform boundary of the Fairweather Fault, which is part of the Queen Charlotte – Fairweather Fault that marks the boundary between the North American and Pacific Plates.

An earthquake from this fault line was a registered 8.3 quake that triggered a tremendous landslide into the inlet. The landslide shook over 30 million cubic meters of rock and debris from several hundred meters above the inlet down, causing the megatsunami. The waves reached heights of 502 meters (1,710 ft.) causing damage to the landscape that can still be seen today.

The most interesting thing I learned so far is that this event is the largest recorded megatsunami on record, and that this area is likely to have more event just like in the future.