Case Study Of 2009 Samoan Tsunami

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2009 Samoan Tsunami
By Charlotte Brown
On the morning of Tuesday the 29th of September 2009 two earthquakes struck the ocean waters off Samoa. (1) As a result, a tsunami with waves measuring up to 4.5 metres in height flooded over the coast of many of the islands destroying villages, shops, tourism, people’s livelihoods as well as their lives. (5)
The primary reason/ cause for this tsunami were the two earthquakes and their associated movement of tectonic plates. To explain further; under our earth we have firstly the lithosphere at the surface and the mantle followed by the inner and outer core. (13) Refer to figure 1 below. The lithosphere consists of the crust and the upper mantle and it is divided into 7 major sections called tectonic
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The second earthquake was a 7.8 on the Richter magnitude scale and occurred on the Kermadec Tongan subduction zone. The Kermadec Tongan subduction zone is located near the top of New Zealand and heads north. It is one of the fastest subduction zones. It moves up to 24 cm a year. (4) the earthquakes hit around 6:48 am (local time) which meant that some residents were at home and may have been woken from their sleep with a huge surge of water. The earthquakes and tsunami affected Samoa drastically since Samoa is a very low-lying island, with its highest point being only 2000m above sea level. most structures in Samoa are made to not withstand damage as strong as this wave and consequently over 5000 people lost their homes. (1) You could feel the earthquake drastically from Samoa. “I thought it was the end of the world” said Salamo Lavmol “I had never felt an earthquake like it…show more content…
It had 9 metre waves, compared to 4.5 meters and therefore caused a lot more damage. It affected more people since there is a greater Population of people living in Japan. Especially by the coast. (7)
As a result or consequence of these events, many factors of the Samoan life were affected. The environment, economy, development and tight-knitted community were severely damaged.
As the tsunami came inland, it ruined many houses and contents as well as taking people’s lives. The tight-knitted community of Samoa got affected drastically since a lot of peoples lives and homes were taken. As the wave came it also killed a lot of sea creatures and drowned plants. Many shoreline businesses got ruined and many seafood businesses had to be temporally shut down due to loss of sea life around the coast of Samoa. After the tsunami hit Samoa, as well as Tonga, it receded back into the Pacific Ocean, taking a great amount of rubbish along. This polluted the ocean a lot, it was responsible for many deaths of various sea animals. As well as land

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