2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami

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The morning of December 26, 2004 saw the worst disaster in Indonesia’s history. A magnitude (M) 9.1 submarine earthquake occurred along the Indian Ocean subduction zone triggering a massive tsunami that destroyed 800 km of the coastal areas of Aceh Province with inundation observed as far as 6 km inland. Post disaster damage and loss assessment revealed staggering numbers on the calamity that include over 220,000 human fatalities and the destruction of 139,000 houses, 73,869 hectares of agricultural lands, 2,618 kilometers of roads, 3,415 schools, 104,500 small-medium enterprises, 13,828 fishing boats, 119 bridges, 669 government buildings, 517 health facilities, 1,089 worship places, 22 seaports, and 8 airports and airstrips (BRR-Agency for the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Aceh and Nias, 2009). Added to these statistics, more than half a million tsunami survivors were internally displaced and hundreds of thousands more lost their livelihoods.

Almost within hours, news on the tsunami devastation of Aceh spread quickly around the world eventually sparking an unprecedented massive global community emergency response and relief effort. Given the extremely urgent situation on the grounds, the Government of Indonesia agreed to allow international military personnel coming from Asian and European countries, the United States, and Australia, among others, to participate in the disaster response operations that also included more than 600 local, national, and international non-governmental, community-based, civil society, multi-lateral, and UN organizations. Some of these organizations continued to be involved in the post-tsunami reconstruction and recovery phase. The reconstruction costs were estimated to be US $4.9 billion while committed funds from various sources including the international community donors and the Government of Indonesia amounted to US$ 6.7 billion (BRR, 2009).

Before embarking on a painstaking reconstruction effort, the Government of Indonesia created a “Master Plan for the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Aceh and Nias, North Sumatra”. Parallel to this effort, the government also established the Agency for the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Aceh and Nias (BRR), an ad-hoc agency, first of its kind, mandated to implement and coordinate government-funded projects and coordinate donor- and NGO- funded projects from April 2005 to April 2009. The “Build Back Better” philosophy was adopted in the reconstruction effort. This guiding principle seeks to ensure that every reconstruction effort shall integrate the concept of Disaster Risk Reduction that would help reduce future disaster risk and build resilience. By the end of the project period, BRR had implemented and coordinated a total of roughly 12,000 projects.

Post-tsunami recovery and reconstruction efforts generally resulted in significant achievements in terms of housing, infrastructure, environment, agriculture, livelihood, health, local economy, education, and disaster management sectors. The enactment of Law of the Republic of Indonesia Number 24/ 2007 concerning Disaster Management and the subsequent transformation of disaster management entities marked a major shift in disaster management paradigm in Indonesia which should help prepare Indonesia in responding more effectively to future disaster events.

2005
This report has been prepared in response to General Assembly Resolution 60/15 of 2 February 2006 on “Strengthening emergency relief, rehabilitation, reconstruction and prevention in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster”. The report provides a status update of the recovery process at the 18-month mark and seeks to identify some of the key emerging challenges and lessons learned in efforts to build back better. It examines successes and challenges in tsunami response, focusing on long-term recovery.
United Nations - Headquarters
2006
This report aims to extract lessons learned from the ILO’s Aceh Programme in response to the Indian Ocean tsunami on 26 December 2004, and propose good practices for future ILO crisis responses.
International Labour Organization
Tsunami 2004 Sri Lanka Preliminary Damage and Needs Assessment
2005
This report gives a preliminary estimate of the damage and needs resulting from the widespread destruction caused by the 2004 tsunami, evaluating the social, environmental, and economic impacts of the disaster and summarizing damage and needs by sector.
Asian Development Bank Japan Bank For International Cooperation World Bank, the
Tsunami 2004 India Tsunami Recovery Program Preliminary Damage and Needs Assessment
2005
This report provides an assessment of damages and needs resulting from the tsunami that struck the eastern and southwestern coast of India as well as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on December 26, 2004.
Asian Development Bank World Bank, the United Nations - Headquarters
Earthquake and Tsunami 2004 Indonesia Preliminary Damage and Loss Assessment
2005
This document represents a preliminary assessment of damages and losses in Indonesia due to the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami.
Indonesia - government
2005
This report, Indonesia: Preliminary Notes on Reconstruction sets the groundwork by highlighting a range of possible responses based on existing domestic programs and borrowing from global best practices.
Indonesia - government