Ten years after the tsunami of 2004: Impact action change future
AbstractOn 26 December 2004, two extremely rare events occurred close to the southwestern shores of northern Indonesia. The first was a massive earthquake measuring 9.1 to 9.3 on the Richter scale, and the second was the devastating tsunami it generated. Travelling at speeds of over 500 km an hour, the tsunami wrecked the coastal areas of six countries in the WHO South-East Asia Region - India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand, leaving more than 227 000 people dead and 1.7 million displaced. Countries were caught unawares, devastated, and were unprepared to cope with the effects of the disaster. The event led to a chain of reform measures initiated by WHO, which are ongoing. These were aimed at building the capacity of countries to prevent, prepare for, and increase their resilience, absorbing and buffering capacities in the event of a disaster. Ten years later, the Nepal earthquake on 25 April 2015 proved that the Region has learnt its lessons well. Countries today are much better prepared. Today, we live in a world where there is always a possibility of danger. Newer vulnerabilities, such as unplanned urbanization, migration and climate change threaten hard-won development gains. We need to invest actively in preemergencies. These investments will have invaluable dividends for a safer and healthier future.
World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia. (2015). Ten years after the tsunami of 2004: Impact action change future. WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/205969