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This report presents an Environmental Impact Assessment of the December 26, 2004 Tsunami in the states of Tamilnadu and Puducherry, India, which was taken on the initiative of the LAW trust of Nagapatinam with the researchers in the Centre for Environmental Sciences of Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Alwarkurichi, Tirunelveli. The joint assessment team made field visits to the most seriously affected districts and undertook surveys in the areas. The report focuses on the main features of the tsunami and the changes to the coastal geomorphology of various coastal ecosystems such as sandy beaches, river mouths, rocky outcrops mangrove buffers and other coastal forests of scrubs and other vegetation.
The report also reviews the damage to houses, properties, fishing equipment, inclusive of boats and fishing nets, human losses, damage to public property such as roads, bridges and other government establishments. The impacts are based on the independent survey by the members of the team exclusively to assess the socio-economic aspects. Findings of the assessments reveal that areas with dense populations with poor management or conditions of the coastal environment were the worst affected; areas with increased pressure on coastal environment with aquaculture, sand mining were badly affected by tsunami. Effective coastal rnanagement realizing the ecosystem services by these coastal resources to mankind is the only option, and a transparent approach with increased participation of coastal fisher folk is highly essential for improving the social and economic status of coastal people.