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Tsunamis and Earthquakes

The December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami: Initial Findings on Tsunami Sand Deposits, Damage, and Inundation in Sri Lanka

Survey Site Locations and Photos


Click photo to see a larger image

Photo in Yala
Both domestic and wild animals were seen evacuating to higher ground long before the tsunami arrived on the south coast of Sri Lanka.
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Photo in Yala
Flow depths were about 4.5 m at Yala Safari Resort where water level were determined by debris in the trees, including a door impaled on a branch.
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Photo in Yala
The tsunami had the ability to transport large particles (a car), but, because primarily sand was available to be transported, almost all tsunami deposits are composed of sand.
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Photo in Yala
Rooms at the Yala Safari Resort before the tsunami.
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Photo in Yala
Rooms at the Yala Safari Resort after the tsunami.
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Photo in Yala
Another photo of the Yala Safari Resort after the tsunami.
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Photo in Yala
View onshore at Yala showing the broad zone of deposition between the beach and the high ancient duneridge about 450 m landward of the beach.
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Photo in Yala
Trench at Yala showing the tsunami sand deposit about 22 cm thick. The trowel sizes and orientation point to the primary, secondary, and tertiary flow directions caused by the topography. Ground elevation is about 0.5 m and flow depth was about 4.5 m at this site.
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Photo in Yala
View parallel to the beach at Yala from the modern high dunes toward the former site of the Yala Safari Resort. Removal of the dunes for a better view of the ocean greatly increased destruction of the resort caused by the tsunami.
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last modified 2005