The Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004 was one of the most devastating disasters in the Indian Ocean. Many countries were unprepared to respond to disasters of such magnitude.
India is one of the affected countries which faced tsunami for the first time, even the word tsunami was also unknown. Indian and global discourses on disaster management changed significantly after this event.
New institutional systems, legislation, policy and programs were created as a result of the tsunami. India could develop one of the best tsunami warning systems in the world, which also helps many countries in the region to share tsunami data and warnings.
The book titled Tsunami Disaster explains the events of the tsunami and their impacts on the Indian coasts. The author, Dr. Dipankar Guha explains the series of incidents from a historical and contemporary perspective. The presence of scholarly devices and visual materials used in the book, including maps, diagrams, and photographs, makes the book interesting.
The aim of the book is to determine the geo-hydrographic impact and problems associated with tsunamis on Indian coastlines and to propose measures to mitigate the impact of tsunamis and similar natural disasters.
This book consists of ten chapters which explain the tsunami and its geo-hydro-graphical impacts on the Indian coasts, mitigation, observational studies, etc. It highlights the importance of early warning systems in disaster management and how tsunamis should be seen as a learning lesson. on disaster mitigation.
The book attempts to identify risk factors and their implications to strengthen preparedness, response and rehabilitation efforts. The author discusses the lack of literature in academics before the tsunami, which has significance in broader scientific discourse. Solid literature evidence would have provided a solid foundation for this book and a great contribution to scholars.
The introductory chapter provides an overview of the tsunami and the author explains using historical examples of natural disasters. The author describes the disaster using region-specific data as well as maps, tables and photographs.
The second chapter Tsunami and its effects on coastal morphology explains the scope, objectives and methodology of this book. The author argues about the lack of studies in the field of tsunami and impact studies and how he came to write this book. The research gap in the literature was identified by Dr. Guha led him to the formulation of the research problem.
In the third chapter Characteristics of Tsunami, the author expanded on key tsunami terms and definitions, its characteristics, wavelength, etc., and how tsunami is generated by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and asteroids or man-made explosions.
The author has successfully explained where and how often tsunamis are generated, as well as the rise and fall of the process and he also explains the occurrence in detail using diagrams. Readers would gain conceptual clarity by reading this chapter
The impact of disasters could be considerably reduced if the warning is given well in time and if, on the other hand, people adhere to the instructions given. The Prediction, Preparedness and Warning chapter deals with understanding the source mechanism of tsunamis and potential terminal surge and how the ocean tsunami warning and mitigation system Indian (IOTWS) and finally how DART’s data streaming works around the clock.
The author concluded his book with the chapter on recommendations to mitigate the tsunami disaster in Indian waters. It has tried to integrate the different methods available for tsunami prediction and the actions that can be taken by communities during the disaster.
It also discusses methods such as numerical modelling, coastal inundation and vulnerability maps, bathymetry, geographic information system (GIS), Navarea warnings and navigational safety, etc. He concluded the book by suggesting investing in a cost-effective communication system and providing legislative support to encourage people to adopt cyclone- and tsunami-resistant features in their homes.
Dr Dipankar Guha in his book focuses on raising awareness and educating the public about disaster management by telling the story of a wise Japanese man saving an entire village from the tsunami by giving an early warning. It also highlights the importance of strong infrastructure in disaster management and how humans should contribute to ecological sustainability and balance.
The book might be useful for students taking a course on disaster management with particular reference to tsunamis. Also, it would help boost the knowledge of ordinary people in a very simplistic way, as it was backed up with pictures and graphics and avoided very technical words.