Tsunami impact report
The US State Department reports
that the major findings of the 60 authors and contributors to Status of Coral Reefs in Tsunami Affected Countries 2005 include:
- Damage to the coral reefs in the Indian Ocean was patchy, site dependent and heavily influenced by local environmental conditions;
- Most of the coral reefs of the region escaped serious damage and will naturally recover within 5 to 10 years providing that effective management is implemented to reduce damage from human activities;
- A small number of coral reefs were significantly damaged and may take 20 or more years to recover; and they may not return to the previous structure;
- Most of the damage to coral reefs resulted from sediment and coral rubble thrown about by the waves, and smothering by debris washed off the land;
- The coral reefs absorbed some of the tsunami energy, possibly providing some protection to the adjacent land, although mangroves and coastal forests afforded the most protection to infrastructure on the land and probably reduced the loss of life in these areas.