Magazine article ASEE Prism

Recovery Lessons

Magazine article ASEE Prism

Recovery Lessons

Article excerpt

Ten years ago, a magnitude 9.1 Boxing Day tsunami cut a swath of destruction through the Indian Ocean, killing more than 227,000 people in 14 countries. Millions more were left homeless. In the days and months immediately following the disaster, local and volunteer civil and structural engineers helped solve problems ranging from inadequate sanitation and access to potable water to constructing safe shelters with limited resources. Each area faced unique difficulties. In Indonesia, for instance, government efforts to prevent exploitation of forests meant timber had to be imported. In Sri Lanka, tens of thousands of people needed to reestablish residences further from the coast, but much of the land was studded with landmines from decades of civil conflict. Before contractors could start building, every acre had to be assessed and declared landmine-free. …

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