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Impact of Natural Disasters on the Natural Economy: The Case of the Tsunami Disaster on Indonesia - Literature review Example

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This following study is a qualitative research studying the economic impact of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami on Indonesia using descriptive statistics. It shall examine the phenomenon and the impact of such phenomenon on various stakeholders. …
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Impact of Natural Disasters on the Natural Economy: The Case of the Tsunami Disaster on Indonesia
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Impact of Natural Disasters on the Natural Economy: The Case of the Tsunami Disaster on Indonesia

The researcher states that Indonesia is located in Southeast Asia with its 18,108 islands covering about five million square kilometres between Indochina and the Indian and Pacific waters. It is a Muslim-dominated country and is the fourth most populated country in the world. On the 26th of December in 2004, a 9.2 magnitude earthquake on the Indian Ocean caused a tsunami which killed about 230,000 individuals, 168,000 individuals in Indonesia alone. This remains one of the highest casualties from a natural disaster since recorded history. The tsunami deaths covered Indonesia, Thailand, and the north-western coast of Malaysia, also some parts of Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and as far away as Somalia, Tanzania, and eastern Africa. This disaster prompted worldwide assistance to the countries affected with billions of dollars contributed to the country for aid relief. Australia was one of the first to offer its assistance, including the US, the UK, and Japan. The Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Reconstruction and Development (AIRPD) was also established on January 2005 in order to secure immediate assistance to Indonesia. This tsunami caused major changes and upheaval for Indonesia, and major changes which came in the face of Suharto’s fall regime, the country’s transition to democracy, and the Asian financial crisis. Aside from human casualties, various houses, hotels, infrastructures, and livelihoods were wiped-out by the tsunami. Human deaths and injuries, as well as psychological trauma were caused by the tsunami. Initial costs in estimated damages in the billions were recorded, with billions more allocated for rebuilding (Bandara and Naranpanawa, 2005). An hour and a half after the earthquake hit Sumatra, Kalmunai, in Sri Lanka was hit with the first waves of the tsunami. After this, other parts of country and nearby coastlines were also hit. Immediately after the tsunami hit, preliminary reports on initial damage and needs assessment were carried out and a post-tsunami recovery plan for Indonesia and other affected areas were established (Bandara and Naranpanawa, 2005). Using methodology developed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the socio-economic and environmental impact of the disaster was measured, along with asset losses, output losses, and macroeconomic and fiscal effects. Asset losses were expectedly recorded with total damage registering at billions of dollars. A few hours after the tsunami waves hit, reports of the impact of the disaster were gathered and lives lost numbered in the thousands, with houses, boats, ports, cars, buildings, roads, and businesses destroyed and damaged (Clarke, 2005). The small local communities would bear the most impact for this disaster. Preventing the long-term negative impact of this disaster was one of the priorities of the governments affected, as well as the international community. Moreover, health issues, including water-borne infections were quickly manifesting among survivors and would likely add to the casualties (Bandara and Naranpanawa, 2005). Figure 1: Indian Ocean earthquake, 26 December 2004 -- Tsunami disaster area Source: Economist (2005a). 2. Literature Review 2.1. Natural Disaster - General Literature Natural disasters are likely to cause various effects on the countries and areas affected. Various studies have established the different economic impact of these disasters, mostly in terms of their short-term and their long-term effects (Albala-Bertrand, 1993). Short term impact mostly register in terms of the direct impact of these disasters in the infrastructure, loss of life, loss of livelihood, loss of capital stock and loss of natural resources (Ma, 2011). In Queensland, economic damage from natural disasters which hit their ... Read More
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