Planning and Mitigating Tsunami Damages

By analyzing the correlation between the wave height and the damage suffered of the structures, as well as a detailed analysis of the nature of the damage, and its categorization, we should be able to anticipate and mitigate the disastrous damages.

 Sri Lanka is only one of the many countries around the Indian Ocean that suffered damage at the hands of the Tsunami caused by the earthquake off the Sumatran coast on 26 December 2004 measuring around 9.3 on the Richter scale. The coastline from the Western coastal line, through the Southern and Eastern coastal regions to the Northernmost point of the island suffered heavy damage, by either direct or diffracted waves, some of which were as high as fifteen meters. was affected by a combination of direct, diffracted and reflectedwaves.Wave heights are estimated to have reached up to 15 m. How ever, this research concerns about the waves of average height 2 to 5 m. It was found through this research that the buildings of various heights, behaved differently to the various heights of waves. Major threats to a structure when faced with a Tsunami is threefold. Namely: Overturning, Sliding and Scouring. Some of the examples of these forms of damages can be described by bringing into attention the damages that have been done to the buildings in different areas. The damages are mainly dependent on the heights of the waves. After the post Tsunami situations were considered, a detailed analysis of the relationship between the heights of the waves and the severity can be made. However, the preparation for damage aversion/ mitigation is the key aspect. The fundamental requirements are to consider the zoning and siting issues, in addition to building planning and structural planning. The use of foundations at a sufficient length, adding redundancies by adding a minimum of four columns and using a horizontal beam for tying down the roof are good things to begin with. 


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