DRC-Disaster Research Center

Quick Response Studies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Social Impacts and Consequences of the December, 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami: Observations from India and Sri Lanka

Principal Investigators: Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, Dr. Tricia Wachtendorf, Joseph Trainor (With Dr. James Kendra, University of North Texas, Dr. A. Subramanian, Madras Christian College, in Madras, India, and Dr. Ram Alagan University of Peradeniya Kandy, Sri Lanka)
Funding Agencies: Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) and the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez Sea Grant College Program

Study Description

Less than one month after the disaster, researchers from the University of Delaware’s Disaster Research Center (DRC) and the University of North Texas’ Emergency Administration and Planning Program (EAPP) traveled to some of the most heavily impacted areas of India and Sri Lanka. This social science reconnaissance team, comprised of three sociologists and one geographer, was supported by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) and the Sea Grant College Program at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez. The team was also comprised of Dr. A. Subramanian (Political Scientist, Madras Christian College, in Madras, India) and Dr. Ram Alagan (Department of Geography, University of Peradeniya and affiliated with the International Center for Ethnic Studies (ICES) in Kandy, Sri Lanka). Drs. Subramanian and Alagan had been actively engaged in disaster relief work in some of the areas that the team visited in India and Sri Lanka. These local collaborators provided detailed information focusing on cultural, historical and political aspects in these countries thus providing the needed context in which to ground our observations. 
The field team spent approximately one week in each of the two countries and was able to collect an extensive amount of data and information on the social impacts of the tsunami, the immediate response and relief effort, and the preliminary planning stage of the recovery effort. Central to the team’s goals were to: a) collect perishable data that may otherwise not be available at a later date; b) identify communities particularly hard hit by the tsunami; c) identify key priority areas for future research; d) identify local and state agencies as well as local and international NGO’s taking part in the recovery and relief efforts; and e) establish contacts with local researchers and practitioners.

The EERI reconnaissance team also benefited from the extensive information and guidance provided by Dr. Stanley Samarasinghe and his colleagues at the ICES, and the staff from the Disaster Mitigation Institute (DMI) in India. Also, the hospitality, kindness, and the time, cooperation, and information provided to the field team by many community members and governmental and non-governmental agency (NGOs) representatives were instrumental to the success of our field research.

Study Related Publications

Rodriguez, Havidan, Tricia Wachtendorf, James Kendra, Joseph Trainor. 2006. “A Snapshot of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami: Societal Impacts and Consequences.” Disaster Prevention and Management Journal. 15(1):163-177

Wachtendorf, Tricia, James Kendra, Havidán Rodríguez, Joseph Trainor. 2006. “The Social Impacts and Consequences of the December, 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami: Observations from India and Sri Lanka.” Earthquake Spectra. 22(S3):S693-S714

Rodriguez, Havidan, Tricia Wachtendorf, James Kendra, Joseph Trainor. 2005. “The Indian Ocean Tsunami: A preliminary Assessment of Societal Impacts and Consequences” EERI Newsletter 39(5): Special Report Insert 

Trainor, Joseph, Havidan Rodriguez, Tricia Wachtendorf, James Kendra. 2005. “More than a Wave: Exploring the Social Impacts of the Indian Ocean Tsunami.” Natural Hazards Observer. XXIX(5):1-2

Rodriguez, Havidan, Tricia Wachtendorf, James Kendra, Joseph Trainor, and A. Subramanian. 2005. The Indian Ocean Tsunami: Summary Report of Findings in India and Sri Lanka. Earthquake Engineering Research Center (EERI)

Rodriguez, Havidan, Tricia Wachtendorf, James Kendra, Joseph Trainor, and A. Subramanian. 2005. The Indian Ocean Tsunami: Preliminary Field Report on India. Earthquake Engineering Research Center( EERI)

Rodriguez, Havidan, Tricia Wachtendorf, James Kendra, Joseph Trainor, and Ram Alagan. 2005. The Indian Ocean Tsunami: Preliminary Field Report on Sri Lanka. Earthquake Engineering Research Center(EERI)

Study Related Presentations

Rodriguez, Havidan, Tricia Wachtendorf, James Kendra, and Joseph Trainor. “A Snapshot of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami: Societal Impacts and Consequences.” Presented at the 1st Annual Symposium for Coastal and Marine Applied Research Program. September 2, 2005. Mayagüez, Puerto Rico

Trainor, Joseph, Havidan Rodriguez, Tricia Wachtendorf, and James Kendra, After the Wave: Preliminary Social Science Insights from India and Sri Lanka, Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA.) August 13th 2005  Philadelphia, PA

Rodriguez, Havidan, Tricia Wachtendorf, James Kendra, and Joseph Trainor. “The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami: The Social Science Implications of Response and Recovery Initiatives.” Presented at the International Conference on Energy, Environment, and Disasters (INCEED 2005). July 24-30, 2005. Charlotte, North Carolina

Wachtendorf, Tricia, James M. Kendra, Havidan Rodriguez, and Joseph Trainor, Invited Panelist for Gender Issues in Disasters at the Annual Hazards Research and Applications Workshop. July 12, 2005. Boulder, CO

Wachtendorf, T, Rodriguez, H. ,Kendra, J., Trainor, J. “Societal Impacts of  the Indian Ocean Tsunami: Preliminary Findings from India and Sri Lanka.” Presented at the Disasters Roundtable on the Indian Ocean Tsunami Disaster: Implications for U.S. and Global Disaster Reduction and Preparedness. National Research Council, The National Academies. June 21, 2005. Washington, DC

Rodriguez, Havidan, Tricia Wachtendorf, James Kendra, and Joseph Trainor. “The Indian Ocean Tsunami: A preliminary Assessment of Societal Impacts and Consequences.” Paper presented at the FEMA Emergency Management Higher
Education Conference, June 7-9, 2005. Emmitsburg, Maryland

Trainor, Joseph, Havidan Rodriguez, Tricia Wachtendorf, and James Kendra. “More than A Wave: Selected Social Science Insights from the December 26th Indian Ocean Tsunami” Invited Panelist at the Symposium on Emergency Management and Disaster Abatement. May 25, 2005, Arnhem, The Netherlands (Sponsored guest of the European Union)

Rodríguez, Havidan, Tricia Wachtendorf, James Kendra, and Joseph Trainor. “Societal Impacts of the Indian Ocean Tsunami: Preliminary Findings from India and Sri Lanka.” Presented at the EERI Technical Briefing: The Great          Sumatra Earthquake and Tsunami of December 26, 2004.  Marvin Center,George Washington University, May 23, 2005.

Rodriguez, Havidan, Tricia Wachtendorf, James Kendra, and Joseph Trainor. ”Socio- economic Impact and Consequences of the Indian Ocean Tsunami: Preliminary Findings from India and Sri Lanka.” Invited presentation at the 2005 National Disaster Medical Systems Disaster Response Conference. May 4, 2005. Orlando, Florida (Sponsored guest of FEMA.)

Wachtendorf, Tricia, Havidan Rodriguez, James M. Kendra, and Joseph Trainor. Social Impacts and Consequences of the Indian Ocean Tsunami: Preliminary Observations from India and Sri Lanka. Invited Presentation at the National Disaster Medical Systems Conference. May 3, 2005.

Wachtendorf, Tricia, Havidan Rodriguez, Joseph Trainor, and James M. Kendra. “Social Impacts of the Indian Ocean Tsunami: Preliminary Findings from India and Sri Lanka.” Invited Presentation to the Mid American Earthquake Center, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL. April 21, 2005