Tsunamis Impacts And Mitigation Strategies

Tsunamis are waves that occur as a result of sudden movements caused by landslides and earthquakes, or volcanic eruptions on the floor of the sea (The Guardian, 2019). Majority of these tsunamis are caused by earthquakes on the seafloor when huge slabs of rocks move past each other suddenly resulting in movement of water. There is a relationship between climate change and the occurrences of tsunamis as suggested by scientists. The change of climate caused by elevated emissions of carbon dioxide from power plants, factories and automobiles not only impact our atmosphere but the earth's geology as well.

The change of climate is responsible for several transformations taking place on the universe (Steffen, 2019). As the ice sheets melts, there is a decrease in load and this changes the stress on the crust of the earth. These forces activates seismic faults thereby generating earthquakes such as the case of Indonesia. The glaciers’ weight applies a force on the earth underneath creating an uplift around them. Then these glaciers melt, the surface readjusts to its position through viscous flow thereby triggering earthquakes.


This is the same cause of increased incidences of tsunamis in Sri Lanka due to the rising levels of seas (Mörner, 2019). Similarly, ice caps disappearance alters the pressures acting on the crust of the earth and this sets off eruptions of the volcanoes around the universe. In accordant to a new study, as the levels of the seas rise, so do the global hazards and potential damages from the tsunamis.

There are strategic steps that may be adopted towards the mitigation of risks that come with tsunamis (UNESCO, 2011). These strategies include;

Protection against inundation by structural means- Structural protection from the effects of tsunamis may be attained not only by artificial means such as revetments, dikes, and offshore breakwaters but also the use of natural methods, using the full potential of the ecosystems ate the coast and vegetation. The mangrove ecosystem is essential in the protection of humans and their resources. The intensity and height of high waves can be absorbed and reduced by the mangrove and Sri Lankans now understand its importance since the 2004 tsunami.

Accommodating inundation- It may be not possible to transfer the entire economic activities that take place at the coast but instead, we may consider accommodating the risk through adopting structural and non-structural measures. Among these measures are; building codes for housing that are resistant to tsunamis and spreading the risk by the use of insurance as this will reduce the financial costs brought about by the tsunamis.

Retreating from zones that are potential to tsunamis- Land-use planning may be a strategic and efficient means towards the mitigation of risks in the coastal communities from the impacts of tsunamis. Maps of hazards, especially the ones derived from parameters of inundation is an appropriate tool for making decisions in land-use planning. A development setback introduction may be considered as a possible option in land-use planning.

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  • Mörner, N.-A. (2019). Sea Level Changes and Tsunamis, Environmental Stress and Migration Overseas. Retrieved from
  • Steffen, R. (2019). Could a Climate Change/Earthquake Link Mean Unexpected Tsunamis? Retrieved from
  • The Guardian. (2019). Climate change: melting ice will trigger wave of natural disasters. Retrieved from

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