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EFFECTS OF MEDU AND COASTAL TOPOGRAPHY ON THE DAMAGE PATTERN DURING THE RECENT INDIAN OCEAN TSUNAMI ALONG THE COAST OF TAMILNADU

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Author(s): J.P. Narayan | M.L. Sharma | B.K. Maheshwari

Journal: Science of Tsunami Hazards
ISSN 8755-6839

Volume: 23;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 9;
Date: 2005;
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Keywords: tsunamis | earthquakes | Indian Ocean tsunami 2004 | MEDU | tsunami damage

ABSTRACT
Effects of Medu (naturally elevated landmass very close to the seashore and elongated parallel to the coast) and coastal topography on the damage pattern during the deadliest Indian Ocean tsunami of December 26, 2004 is reported. The tsunami caused severe damage and claimed many victims in the coastal areas of eleven countries bordering the Indian Ocean. The damage survey revealed large variation in damage along the coastal region of Tamilnadu (India).The most severe damage was observed in the Nagapattinam district on the east coast and the west coast of Kanyakumari district. Decrease of damage from Nagapattinam to Kanchipuram district was observed. Intense damage again appeared to the north of Adyar River (from Srinivaspuri to Anna Samadhi Park). Almost, no damage was observed along the coast of Thanjavur, Puddukkotai and Ramnathpuram districts in Palk Strait, situated in the shadow zone of Sri Lanka.It was concluded that the width of continental shelf has played a major role in the pattern of tsunami damage. It was inferred that the width of the continental shelf and the interference of reflected waves from Sri Lanka and Maldives Islands with direct waves and receding waves was responsible for intense damage in Nagapattinam and Kanyakumari districts, respectively. During the damage survey authors also noted that there was almost no damage or much lesser damage to houses situated on or behind the Medu. Many people observed the first arrival. The largest tsunami amplitude occurred as the first arrival on the eastern coast and in the second arrival on the western coast.
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