Indonesia – Tsunami demolished coastal environment

Date: 1/2/2005

Beyond the horrific loss of human life, the first environmental assessment of Indonesia’s coast after the earthquake and tsunami of 26 December shows the extent of the severe damage. Among critical coastal habitats in Aceh and North Sumatra, 25,000 hectares of mangroves, 30% of 97,250 hectares of previously existing coral reefs, and 20 percent of 600 hectares of seagrass beds have been damaged, according to the assessment. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) warns that sea conditions off the west coast of Aceh will likely worsen from mid-February to July, due to the phenomenon known as ‘the big swell.’

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