The Asian Tsunami: A Protective Role for Coastal Vegetation

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Science  28 Oct 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5748, pp. 643
DOI: 10.1126/science.1118387

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The 26 December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami had major effects on coastal communities and ecosystems. An assessment of coastlines after the tsunami indicates that coastal vegetation such as mangroves and beach forests helped to provide protection and reduce effects on adjacent communities. In recent years, mangroves and other coastal vegetation have been cleared or degraded along many coastlines, increasing their vulnerability to storm and tsunami damage. Establishing or strengthening greenbelts of mangroves and other coastal forests may play a key role in reducing the effect of future extreme events.

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