[Coral-List] Surveys for tsunami damage

Veerachai Tanpipat chai at gistda.or.th
Sat Jan 8 20:04:29 EST 2005


Yes, checking individual site would give a false sense.  We have 6 teams
who are doing extensive survey thru out 6 provinces, but this of course
takes time, so important dive sites will be evaluate and report first
since the tourist industry is very important for those 6 provinces.

So far the Tsnami destroyed some sites where the depth are less than 5
meters.  The good sign is that many people I know told me (after they went
diving) that in the depth of more than 5 meters, there is less damage or
not damage at all.

I will go down with the survey team late next week.  I am sure I will have
more to let you know.


> David:
> Any surveys conducted to assess tsunami damage to coral reefs should be
> extensive and initially cover a large area, such as via tow board
> surveys.  Here in Hawaii we did some survey work after Hurricane Iniki
> several years ago.  We found areas of extensive reef damage down to 70
> feet or more which looked as if a bulldozer had gone down slope.
> However, often within 20 or 30 meters laterally, facing the same
> direction, the reef was untouched.  I suspect this may be the case with
> tsunami impacts as well.   Spot checking the reefs could give a false
> sense of the extent of damage.
> Aloha,            John
> David Obura wrote:
>> Dear listers,
>> As many of you are, CORDIO and the people we are working with in the
>> affected areas are trying to rapidly put together a list of survey
>> techniques that can be used to help identify the impacts of the
>> tsunami to coral reefs. It would make sense for a wider discussion to
>> happen on this, so that datasets and reports that come out in the next
>> months and years are more or less comparable, and that also we
>> minimize the chance of leaving out an indicator that may prove
>> important in a few years time. We are looking at surveys that:
>> * are compatible with long term monitoring datasets, sites and
>> sampling plans
>> * combine initial rapid assessment observations (in the next few weeks
>> and perhaps months) with more detailed methods to be done at selected
>> permanent (old and new) sites
>> * indicators of tsunami damage ­ the main damage agents we identified
>> so far seem to be: from the initial waves: physical damage from the
>> waves breaking (shallow to mid depth?) damage from surge (going
>> deeper); and from the backwash: sedimentation, physical damage from
>> debris,
>> eutrophication/smothering/disease from terrestrial sediment, and
>> acute/chronic versions of these.
>> Questions to address are:
>> * are there other factors that need to be considered  - its worth
>> listing all, so that people can select from a list
>> * are there methods that have specifically been developed for similar
>> instances (e.g. Cyclone damage, flooding damage, etc)
>> * Reefbase has already come quickly to the plate to receive news of
>> impacts, but it would be useful to establish a loose network, probably
>> under GCRMN and coordinating reporting through Reefbase to  know more
>> about who is surveying where, for how long, results, etc ...
>> * beyond the biophysical monitroing, there will then be socioeconomic
>> assessments as well, but perhaps some time after the trauma of the
>> human tragedy has receded ­ it still seems too fresh and awful.
>> Impacts of the tsunami will no doubt  be an agenda item at the ICRI
>> CPC in the Seychelles in April, so it would be good to have some
>> coordination and coherence from the science and assessments prior to
>> that, and to help make sense of the human suffering and long term
>> implications.
>> All best,
>> David
>> --
>> CORDIO East Africa
>> 8 Kibaki Flats, Kenyatta Beach, Bamburi Beach
>> P.O.BOX 10135 Mombasa, Kenya
>> Tel/fax: +254-41-548 6473; Mobile: 0733-851656
>> Email: dobura at cordio.info
>> --
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