2 - Extramarks

By Michael King,2014-11-14 07:35
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2 - Extramarks

     Disaster Management

2. Tsunami The killer sea


    Do you know what Tsunamis are? How they can be predicted and how you can save yourself from

    the deadly Tsunami? Read the section below and you will know more about it. Follow the instructions

    if you reside in any of the coastal states of the country.

    The term ‗Tsunami‘ has been coined from the Japanese term Tsu meaning ‗harbour‘ and nami

    meaning ‗waves‘. Tsunamis are waves generated by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or underwater

    landslides and can reach 15m or more in height devastating coastal communities. In recorded history,

    tsunamis worldwide have killed hundreds of thousands of people. Tsunamis caused by nearby

    earthquakes may reach the coast within minutes. When the waves enter shallow water, they may rise

    to several feet or, in rare cases, tens of feet, striking the coast with devastating force. The Tsunami

    danger period can continue for many hours after a major earthquake. A killer Tsunami hit 11 South

    Eastern Countries of Asia on

    the 26th of December 2004

    killing more than 1,50,000

    precious lives. The count

    hasn’t stopped.... At the end

    of the day statistics only

    remain. The emotional,

    economical and ecological toll

    of the disaster can’t be

    calculated. Many villages

    have lost an entire

    generation. This was the

    biggest earthquake to hit the

    world in 40 years and no one

    could have thought that its

    effects would ripple worldwide


    Tsunami wave train

    formation 2

    Submarine fault movement, landslide, or volcanic activity


    As waves approach shore they slow down, the waves lengths shorten and become higher


    Possible bore

    formation on shore 4


    Important Facts About Tsunamis

    ? Some tsunamis can be very large. In

    coastal areas their height can be as great as 10m or more (30m in extreme cases), and they can move inland

    several hundred meters.

    ? All low-lying coastal areas can be

    struck by tsunamis.

    ? A tsunami consists of a series of

    waves. Often the first wave may

    not be the largest. The danger from

    subsequent tsunami waves can last

    for several hours after the arrival of the first wave.

    ? Tsunamis can move even 50 km per

    hour on coastal plain, faster than a person can run.

    ? Sometimes a tsunami causes the

    water near the shore to recede,

    exposing the ocean floor. This is

    nature‘s Tsunami warning and should

    be heeded.

    ? The force of some tsunamis is

    enormous. Large rocks weighing

    several tons along with boats and

    other debris can be moved inland

    several meters by tsunami wave activity. Homes Tsunamis may also be generated by very large earthquakes far away in other areas of the Ocean. Waves caused by these travel at hundreds of kilometers per hour, reaching the coast several hours after the earthquake. Unlike ordinary tides, which are short, frequent and surface level, tsunami, are barely noticeable in their deep-sea formation stage. At this point despite a wavelength up to 100 km, they are shallow in depth and move at hundreds of kilometer per hour. If a quake hits Los Angeles, a Tsunami can reach Tokyo in a time less than a Jet would take to traverse the same distance. In 1883, the violent explosion of the famous volcano, Krakatoa in Indonesia, produced tsunamis measuring 40 meters which

    crashed upon Java and Sumatra. Over

36,000 people lost their lives as a result of

    tsunamis that are capable of crossing

    oceans. Tsunamis are nearly always created

    by movement of the sea floor associated

    with earthquakes which occur beneath the

    sea floor or near the ocean.

    Tsunami wave train formation: Seen in the figure is the rupture in the seafloor shunted in the vertical direction. This movement displaces hundreds of cubic kilometres of the overlaying water, generating a massive tsunami, or sea surge.

    and other buildings are destroyed. All floating material and water move with great force

    and can

    kill or injure people.

    ? Tsunamis can occur at any time of day or night.

    ? Tsunamis can travel up rivers and streams that lead to the ocean. Rupture in seafloor pushes water upwards starting the wave


    Wave moves rapidly in deep ocean reaching speed of upto 500 km./h


    As the wave nears land its slows to about 45 km/h but squeezed upwards, increasing in height

    3 Wave heads inland

    destroying all in its path



    What to do BEFORE a Tsunami

    ? Find out if your home, school, workplace, or other frequently visited locations are in tsunami hazard prone areas.

    ? Know the height of your street above sea level and the distance of your street from the coast or other high-risk waters. ? Plan evacuation routes from your home, school, workplace or any other place you

    could be where

    tsunamis present a risk.

    ? Practice your evacuation routes

    ? Have disaster supplies on hand.

    ? Discuss tsunamis with your family

    ? Develop an emergency communication plan. In case family members are separated

    from one

    another during a tsunami have a plan for getting back together. Ask an out-of-state

    relative or

    friend to serve as the family contact (After a disaster, it is often easier to call long


    If you are at risk from tsunamis, you should:

    ? Avoid building or living in buildings within several hundred feet of the coastline.

    ? Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a tsunami. ? Elevate coastal homes. Most tsunami waves

    are less than 10 feet (3 meters). Elevating your

house will help reduce damage to your property

    from most tsunamis.

    ? Take precautions to prevent flooding.

    ? Have an engineer check your home and advise

    about ways to make it more resistant to tsunami


    ? Use a local radio or television station for updated

    emergency information.

    ? Follow instructions issued by local authorities.

    What to do DURING a Tsunami

    ? If you are at home and hear there is a tsunami warning, you should make sure your entire family is aware of the warning. Your family should evacuate the house if you live in a tsunami prone area. Evacuate to a safe elevated area and move in an orderly, calm and safe manner to the evacuation site.

    Detecting Tsunamis

    With the use of satellite technology it is possible to provide nearly immediate warning of potentially tsuna-migenic earthquakes. Warning time depends upon the distance of the epicenter

    from the coast line. The warning includes predicted times at selected coastal communities

    where the tsunami could travel in a few hours.

    Coastal tidal gauges can stop tsunamis close to the shore, but they are useless in deep oceans.

    Tsunami detectors, linked to land by submarine cables, are deployed 50 odd kms. out at sea.

    ‗Tsunameters‘ transmit warnings of buoys on the sea surface, which relay it to satellites.


    Tsunamis are caused by

    moon‘s pull.

    Design Solution to Tsunami effect


    ? Take your Disaster Supplies Kit. Having supplies will make you more comfortable during the evacuation.

    ? If you evacuate, take your animals with you.

    ? If you are at the beach or near the ocean and you feel the earth shake, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for Tsunami warning to be announced. Stay away from rivers and streams that lead to the oceans.

    ? High multi-storey, reinforced concrete buildings (like hotels etc.) are located in many low-lying coastal areas. The upper floors of these buildings can provide a safe place.

    ? Offshore reefs and shallow areas may help break the forces of tsunami waves, but large and dangerous waves can still be a threat to coastal residents in these areas. Staying

    away from low-lying coastal areas is the safest advice when there is a tsunami warning. ? Update yourself on emergency information or warning announced on radio and television from time

    to time.

    If you are on a boat or ship

    ? Since tsunami wave activity is imperceptible in the open ocean, do not return to port if you are at sea

    and a tsunami warning has been issued for your area. Tsunami can cause rapid changes in water

    level and unpredictable dangerous currents in harbors and ports.

    ? If there is time to move your boat or ship from port to deep water (after you know a tsunami warning

    has been issued), you should weigh the following considerations:

    ? Most large harbors and ports are under the control of a harbor/port authority. These authorities

    direct operations during periods of increased readiness. Keep in contact with the authorities

    should a forced movement of vessels is directed.

    ? Smaller ports may not be under the control of a port authority. If you are aware there is a tsunami

    warning and you have time to move your vessel to deep water, then you may do so in an orderly

    manner. Owners of small boats may find it safest to leave their boat at the pier and physically

    move to higher grounds.

    Damaging wave activity and unpredictable currents can affect harbors for a period of time following the

    initial tsunami impact on the coast. Contact the harbor authority before returning to port. What to do AFTER a Tsunami

    After a tsunami, you should:

    ? Continue using a radio or television for updated emergency information. The tsunami may have

    damaged roads, bridges, or other places that may be unsafe.

    ? Check yourself for injuries and get first aid if necessary before helping injured or trapped persons.

    If someone needs to be rescued, call professionals with the right equipment to help. Many people

    might get killed or injured while trying to rescue others in flooded areas. ? Help people who require special assistance-infants, elderly people, those without transportation, large families who may need additional help in an emergency situation, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them.

    ? Avoid disaster areas. Your presence might hamper rescue and other

    emergency operations and put you at further risk from the residual effects Eyewitness…

    I saw the water

    disappearing and the

    water went back so far

    away and everyone

    wondered what it was a

    full moon or what? Then

    we saw the waves come,

    and we ran,‖ said Katri

    Seppanen a tourist from



    of floods, such as contaminated water, crumbled roads, landslides, mudflows, and other hazards.

    ? Use the telephone only for emergency calls. Telephone lines are frequently overwhelmed in disaster

    situations. They need to be cleared for emergency calls to get through. ? Stay out of a building if water remains around it. Tsunami water, like floodwater, can undermine

    foundations, causing buildings to sink, floors to crack, or walls to collapse. ? When re-entering buildings or homes, be very careful ! Tsunami-driven floodwater may have damaged

    buildings where you least expect it. Carefully watch every step you take. ? Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and sturdy shoes. The most common injury following a

    disaster is cut feet.

    ? Use battery-powered lanterns or flashlights when examining buildings. Battery powered lighting is

    the safest and easiest to use and it does not present a fire hazard for the user, occupants, or

    building. DO NOT USE CANDLES.

    ? Examine walls, floors, doors, staircases, and windows to make sure that the building is not in danger

    of collapsing.

    ? Inspect foundations for cracks or other damage. Cracks and damage to a foundation can render a

    building uninhabitable.

    ? Look for fire hazards. There may be broken or leaking gas lines, flooded electrical circuits, or

    submerged furnaces or electrical appliances. Flammable or explosive materials may have come

    from upstream. Fire is the most frequent hazard following floods.

    ? Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and get

    everyone outside quickly. Turn off the gas using the outside main valve if you can, and call the gas

    company from a neighbor‘s home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on

    by a professional.

    ? Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell

    burning insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step

    in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice. Electrical

    equipment should be checked and dried before being returned to service. ? Check for damage to sewage and water lines. If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using

    the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid

    using water from the tap. You can obtain safe water from undamaged water heaters or by melting

    ice cubes that were made before the tsunami hit. Turn off the main water valve before draining water

    from these sources. Use tap water only if local health officials advise it is safe.

    ? Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes that may have come into buildings with the

    water. Use a stick to poke through debris. Tsunami floodwater flushes snakes and animals out of

    their homes.

    ? Watch for loose plaster, drywall, and ceilings that could fall.

    ? Open the windows and doors to help dry the building.

    ? Shovel mud before it solidifies.

    The above brief on Tsunami teach us clearly that we can no longer afford to ignore the forces

    of nature and it should serve as a wake up call to us to rebalance our relationship with our


    Yield not to misfortunes, but advance all the more boldly against them. 12

    Reference for further reading:

    ? IOC/UNESCO International Coordination group for the Tsunami Warning

    System in the Pacific (ICG/ITSU), Paris, France.

    ? Tsunamis and Earthquakes, USGS, USA. ? Amateur Seismic Centre is a comprehensive website carrying details of state

    wise seismicity for the country. This also has extensive reports on various past Earthquakes/


    ? International Tsunami Information Center, Honolulu, Hawaii.

    ? Pacifc Tsunami Museum site. Includes answers to frequently asked

    questions, links, and information related to Pacific Ocean tsunamis. 1. Name three causes of Tsunami and explain its impact.

    2. Explain two different ways of detecting Tsunami.

    3. State two preparedness measures each in pre, during and post tsunami scenario. 13

    3. Survival Skills

    The Orissa super cyclone of 1999 offers several lessons in disaster management. When the cyclone

    struck, western Orissa was already in the grip of a drought. It hit the landfall point near Paradip coast

    on October 29 with a wind velocity of 270 to 300 km per hour. That cyclone and the one that preceded

    it on October 17-18 together affected over 19 million people, including 3.5 million children. They affected

    128 blocks in 14 districts. Search and Rescue measures were carried out on a massive scale. To cater

    to the requirement of huge human resource, volunteers were roped in from various walks of life. NCC

and Civil Defence played a vital role in burning carcasses, distribution of relief and

    carrying our search

    and rescue operations.

    Looking at the need for large-scale volunteers in an emergency situation, this chapter

    aims at understanding

    the survival skills for various natural and man made hazards. It also discusses various

    Search and

    Rescue skills and First Aid measures that can be carried out by "you" and "me" which

    would save many

    precious lives. Mankind has been coping with disasters since time immemorial. This

    chapter also gives

    an in-sight into the indigenous ways to cope up with disasters. Search and Rescue being carried out by Village

    Volunteers in Gujarat


    Search and Rescue Skills

    Whenever and where ever disasters strike the first

    responder for search and rescue always begins at the

    local levels: individual and neighborhood. It is a daunting task for the locals to rescue the victims due to lack of skilled human resources. Disasters or emergencies disrupt normal life. We cannot stop hazards from happening but preparedness can make all the difference between life

    and death. People habitating in highly vulnerable pockets cope up with frequent disasters on the basis of their

    acumen, accumulated knowledge, accumulated skills and

    resources of the community and they have managed to

    survive the fury of the nature through centuries.

    In a post disaster scenario Search and Rescue has

    always played a major role in disaster management. It

    is on the strength, capability and effectiveness of the search and rescue team that more of human lives could

    be saved.

    Victims being evacuated by the Air Force

    in the Tsunami hit area in Tamil Nadu

    Defining Search and Rescue

    Search and rescue is a technical activity rendered by an individual or a group of

    specially trained

    personnel, who rescue and attend to the casualties under adverse conditions, where life

    is at threat.

    Search and rescue is organized in close cooperation with the community and in a team

    approach. The

    search and rescue activities are undertaken in two manners: ? Community as Local Rescuers: With adequate safety measures, rescue activities are taken up

    immediately by the community after any disaster.

    ? Outside Community Resources: Circumstances where the situation is grave and the local rescuers

    do not have required skills and equipments then specialist assistance from outside the


    is required.

The main Objectives of a Search and Rescue Team are to:

    ? Rescue the survivors trapped under the debris, from the damaged buildings or from a cyclonic storm


    ? Provide First Aid services to the trapped survivors and to dispatch them for medical care.

    ? Take immediate necessary actions, as for temporary support and protection to endangered collapsed

    buildings to structures.

    ? Hand-over, recover and dispose-off the bodies of the deceased.

    ? Train, demonstrate and raise awareness on how to use the local materials for rescuing

    the community people.


    1.1 Team Composition

    Honest, emotionally sound, professionally decisive, volunteers male and female, having good physical

    condition, with demonstrated capacity and willingness to work in an emergency, could constitute a

    rescue team.

    Volunteers, of both sex, above the age of 18 years with a minimum education level (reading and writing

    the local language) can be a part of the search and rescue team.

    Preference would be given to ex-military or army personnels.

    Maggie an 18 year old young girl from Pilloba one among several small islands in


    belongs to the fishing community and is an only daughter. On Sunday morning she was woken

    up by the roar of the sea. She felt her home giving way. She quickly clutched on to a large

    bamboo raft, and shoved her ailing parents onto it. She held on to it tight. ―So did several

    others‖, says Maggie. She did scream at everyone to hold as tight as she was doing.


    was the only way to escape the fury of the giant waves. The Coast Guard commander confirms: ―The waves were well above 10 meters high. They sucked in anything in their

    path.‖ He says 44 persons from Pilloba were found hanging on the rafts on the violent


    when Coast Guard vessels stopped them. Maggie says ―I did what I could do for my dear

    villagers. I knew I would survive this way, and if I could, the others would too.‖

    1.2 What are the duties of a Rescuer?

    School students being trained by Fire Services on Search and Rescue

    (b) Listen: Listen to all the sources of information - from the community, Government records

    and media reports.

    (c) Feel: Feel convinced regarding the fact, the gravity of the dangers and our own capacity to respond.

    The first job of a rescuer is to assess

    the area so as to save time, which

    would help in effective response. It is

    very important for a rescuer to collect

information on the extent of damage,

    approach to the damage area,

    particulars of the damage and

    understand if any further damage is

    likely to occur. The local leaders or

    the people residing in that particular

    locality provide all this information.

    Follow three key principles during the


    (a) Look: See physically the incidents

    and make a thorough visual



    1.3 Plan

    Rescue is a team effort that needs coordination and planning amongst the members for

    an optimum

    response operation. After the assessment, the Rescue Team would be in a position to

    adequately plan

    the Rescue Operation based on the following specifications: (a) Manpower (b) Equipment (c) Method

    (a) ManpowerThe Rescuers can use the skilled manpower if available and also take the help of the local community if required.

    (b) Equipment: Ropes, ladders, bamboos or stick, stretchers, boats etc are essential to rescue the affected victims. Sometimes these rescue materials are not available to the rescue team at the site of emergency. Therefore the rescuers use locally available resources like barrels, tinned cans, tubes etc. (c) Method: There are various other methods, which would be useful for rescuing the victims. The adequate method of rescue is to be determined depending upon the nature of the casualty, the nature of the injuries and the position in which the casualty is found.

    Do you know some of the indigenous methods of rescue? When you visit different states

    do understand

    the hazard that they are prone to and the indigenous ways to cope up with them.

    Be ‘BRAVE’ and ‘STAY CALM’ if you have to rescue people

    ? Infra red cameras help in

    locating people under the

    rubble by detecting the

    body heat of the victim.

    ? Acoustic devices can

    detect faint noises from

    the rubble.

    ? Bio radars are

    equipments used for the

    location of marooned

    victims in flood-affected




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