Tsunami/Phase 2/Lesson1 2

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Physical impacts

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Survival Agent

Listen here

All agents need to understand the physical impacts a tsunami can have in order to evacuate your community safely and in time. Given the energy behind tsunami waves and the sheer volume of water travelling at high speed tsunami-caused destruction is inevitable. The water and debris it picks up and carries inland causes the damage, which is often made worse by poor building construction.

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Identify impacts

Examine these satellite photographs to see the difference between Bande Aceh before the 2004 tsunami and after.

What physical differences can you identify?

  1. Think about the materials and the structure of the mosque compared with the materials and structures of the buildings around it that were all destroyed.
    • What differences can you think of between these structures that would explain why the mosque is still standing?
    • Are there any buildings in your community that would be more likely to withstand a tsunami than others?
    • Why?
  2. Dr Jose Borrero from the University of Southern California was able to travel to Aceh province of Northern Sumatra, one of the areas hardest hit by the tsunami and earthquake. Read Dr Borrero’s diary of his time in Aceh (eight days) to see how he describes the physical impacts of this tsunami.


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Physical Impacts Presentation

After viewing the satellite photos and reading Dr Borrero’s diary, prepare and deliver a presentation (to class mates) or add to the wikispace discussion to summarise in your own words the physical impacts of the tsunami on Bande Aceh (if you are completing this course at home, you could deliver your presentation to family or record it on a webcam and upload it to a video sharing website).