Impacts and Recovery from a Large Tsunami: Coasts of Aceh
P. P. Wong
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Department of Geography, National University of Singapore, 1 Arts Link, Singapore 117570, Singapore
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2009;18(1):5–16
The impacts of the 26th December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami were examined on three separate coastal sectors in the west, north and east of Banda Aceh. The most vulnerable coasts are the soft coasts, such as mangroves, and the least vulnerable are the rocky headlands with the sandy coasts occupying a broad intermediate position. The extent of impact for each category of coasts appears to vary with the tsunami wave height and other characteristics. Coastal recovery was remarkably rapid, especially for sandy beaches. In some cases, foredunes returned to the coast. The impacts and recovery processes provide valuable lessons for coastal management, for example, in the replanting of mangroves and other coastal vegetation in the modified coastal environments and the questionable construction of seawalls on accreting coasts. In years to come, the tsunami impacts would disappear, except for modifications by human activities.