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Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home > Tamils - a Nation without a State> Tsunami Disaster &  Tamil Eelam > Planning-Protecting-Precautionary measures for Tsunami / Tidal Waves in Tamil Nation - D.V.Nathan

Tsunami Disaster & Tamil Eelam

Planning-Protecting-Precautionary measures
for Tsunami / Tidal Waves in Tamil Nation

D.V.Nathan, MSc, B.A, DipM(Eng.), MCIM(Eng.)
4 February 2005

The movement of earth's tectonic plates underneath the sea bed of Sumatra-Andaman-Nicobar-Adjoing Nations ( of Indian and Burmese Plateau) in the Indian ocean are volcanic in nature, and the geology is complex. Moreover, these island nations are characterized by the diversity of sedimentary rocks mainly composed of sandstones. According to geologists and oceanographers, once there's a movement of these tectonic plates underneath the sea bed occurs there's a tendency for frequent occurence. However, in the future, these regions in the Indian ocean should pay attention to earthquakes / tsunamis.In a constantly changing environment particularly tsunami / tidal waves that devastated our coastlines have a way of redefining the nature of calamity. When the unpredictable nature of events such as tsunami hits our shorelines again will our people in Tamil Nation be any prepared?

The only solutions to minimize the effects or protect from this natural catastrophe is to have an implemented THREE-P ( "3-P") System, a Master-Disaster-Management plan (P-Planning, P-Protecting, P-Precautionary measures) on a continuity basis.

For "3-P" System disaster-management continuity the overall management ensures the survival of our community not just during or after a natural disaster or man-made disaster, but during daily operations. Disaster-management continuity not only includes a disaster plan but it assess potential everyday risks involved, and provide solutions to mitigate them. The recent tsunami disaster have proven that the succes of our brave soldiers of Tamil Nation lies more in what they did to prepare for a disaster than how responded immediately.

The recent event demonstrated that while it's crucial to our Tamil community's survival to have a master plan, it is even more vitally important that the master plan covers all three phases : Planning, Protecting and taking precautionary measures. In other words, preparing or ready for the unexpected and maintaining a master plan that can allow operations to resume almost immediately.

The success of master plan is embedded into our society economically, culturally as well as politically. As Nobuo Sato, an engineer (specilized in Tsunamin work of engineering) of Iwate Prefectural University in Iwate, Japan said, "Tsunami defense work consists of political, social, economic, cultural and engineering matters." The "3-P" System of master plan should be regularly tested and revived under our Tamil Nation's leadership to ensure that all three phases (Planning, Protecting and Precautionary measures) put into action to ensure that our men and women in-charge are aware of their role in a disaster and have had some practice performing their duties.

Protecting is the main key factor since it costs less than recovery, and it's faster. When a catastrophe in such a magnitude of this nature occurs one of the first questions asked after the tidal waves cease to exist is how it could have been protected from death and destruction. The first and foremost goal is to identity and locate in the map the areas of shorelines that are vulnerable and at risk of tidal waves / stroms / cyclones / floods. We must resort to build dykes/ dams / causeways (zigzag-formats) as shorelines defenses to try to hold back tidal waves or at least reduce their impact.

When tidal waves hit these dykes, they are propelled vertically upwards and lose momentum / velocity. The zigzag-format of causeways often gentle resistance, and the water touches these causeways is slowed down and waves are dissipated. We must encourage people to grow MANGROVE vegetation and CASUARINA trees in and around these dykes / dams / causeways to reduce the impact of tidal w! aves. Planning with local community leaders and try to ensure that all critical infrastructure such as water holes/tanks/ponds (small and large) and hospitals are located outside the tsunami danger zones.

Educate the people on early-warning-system, radio-alert system particularly in fishing villages. In other words, EDUCATING our men, women and chlidren in our community is vitally important. This is the least expensive and most effective way of protecting from death and destruction. The other important factor in the "3-P" System is PRECAUTIONARY mesures which is to adopt coastal-bio-shield-defence - planting MANGROVE vegetation, and CASUARINA trees along coastlines from PointPedro to Amparai/Yala vicinity.

Our community should made to understand the role of MANGROVE vegetation that can reduce the tidal waves, educate bio-shield-movement to grow MANGROVE vegetation, CASUARINA trees, and other plants such as salicornia, atriplex, lacaena that can grow near the sea! . They will serve as coastal-tidal-breakers. In addition, MANGROVE vegetation promotes sustainable fishing by releasing nutrients in the water. MANGROVE vegetation help to protect coastlines from strom damage, soil erosion and tidal waves action.

Many international scientists are ow calling attention to the importance of rehabilitation of MANGROVE areas in rebuilding communities devastated by the recent tsunami. The US-based Mangrove Action Project (MAP) urged its associates and other NGOs to join efforts to consider the rehabilitation of a 'viable' protecting mangrove-buffer zones along vulnerable coastlines in asian counterpart.

World Wildlife Fund International Organization will assist in planning aspects of flora & fauna in places such as Chundikulam (bird sanctuary), Manal Kaadu, Mulai Nagar (MulaiTivu), Silavatura, Kokutuduvai, ThiruMalai(Trincomalee), Mattu Nagar (Batticola), Amparai/Yala area. Local communty leaders can contact Mr. Dermot O' Gorman, Deputy Director of WWF International, Asia-Pacific region. e-mail : [email protected]


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