5.3 Environmental impacts

Tsunami impacts on the environment in many ways, from the death of marine life to the destruction of livestock, plant life and the impact on geological features as well as damage to mangroves, coral reefs and vegetation. Of great concern are damage to marine habitats and the impacts on coastal towns that are intertwined with fragile marine systems.

Tsunami-induced environmental problems include:

  • Ground water contamination.
  • Damage to coral reefs, sea grass beds and mangrove ecosystems. o Salinisation of soils and damage to vegetation and crops.
  • Tsunami-generated waste and debris. o Impacts on sewage collection and treatment systems.
  • Damage to protected areas. o Coastline erosion and inundation.
  • Changes in river hydrology.
  • Loss of livelihoods based on natural resources or ecosystem services.