Tsunami did not damage coral reefs

Date: 1/4/2005

There has been no damage to the coral reefs in Malaysia due to December’s tsunami although there

were traces of sediment re-suspension. A seven-member team of marine scientists conducted the survey

in Langkawi and Pulau Perak from 28 Jan to 2 Feb. The researchers were from the University Malaya

Maritime Research Centre (UMMRec), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Malaysian Society of Marine Sciences,

University Kebangsaan Malaysia and the World Fish Centre. They were surprised that the reefs were not

damaged and that there was minimal effect however, there are traces of sediments on the corals in

Langkawi but it is uncertain if it is because of the tsunami or due to a long-term build-up. Continued

monitoring to assess the full impact of the tsunami will be required to see if Langkawi’s coral reefs are

resilient. If the ecosystem is healthy, the coral reefs should be able to recover on their own quickly.

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