Damage Caused by the 26th December, 2004 Tsunami on the Coastal Forests in Southern Thailand: A Review
Pongsak Sahunalu
The disastrous tsunami of 26th December, 2004, caused a considerable damage in six provinces of Thailand. Not only were the coastal forest resources, existing along the Andaman coast affected, a huge loss of human life and property was also recorded. Factors affecting the intensity of the tsunami disaster could be the coastal shape, geomorphology, landscape, topography, human settlement, and forest communities along the coast. There were two forest community types (mangrove and beach forests) along the coast that were affected by the disaster. The magnitude of forest damage was thoroughly examined and reviewed using various available documents appearing during a ten year period after the occurrence of disaster. The activities related to the forestry sector in Thailand and in other countries, that experienced the same level of damage, were also investigated, to gain a deeper insight into the post-tsunami rehabilitation of the affected forests, especially in countries having long experience and advanced knowledge about such disasters. In addition, the severity, damage, rehabilitation, and mitigation measures related to coastal forest hazards and risk management are also summarized. The vulnerable coastal forest resource in such countries are also summarized to realize the vital role that these coastal forests play in this context.