For the first time in half a century, India experienced the devastating effects of a tsunami, caused by a series of earthquakes in the Bay of Bengal.The earthquakes set off giant tsunami tidal waves of 3 to 10 meters in height, which hit the southern and eastern coastal areas of India and penetrated inland up to 3 kms, causing extensive damage in the Union Territory (UT) of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the UT of Pondicherry. Approximately 2,260 km of the coastal area besides the Andaman & Nicobar Islands were affected.
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. The damage and losses assessment is intended to quantify the consequences of the disaster, and to provide a first attempt at identifying immediate and medium term reconstruction needs. It provides a preliminary estimate of the total cost of damages, identifies the needs for reconstruction and outlines some strategic considerations and guiding principles for implementing a reconstruction program and strengthening disaster risk management as part of a medium term development process.