The Hindu , 31 July 2006

Studying tsunami aftermath

The wounds created by the tsunami heal very slowly.

Researchers at the Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) have found that water resources in the tsunami-affected areas in Kerala have been severely affected even after one-and-a half years of the disaster.

A study team from the School of Environmental Sciences monitored the quality of drinking water available in 60 wells in the coastal areas affected by tsunami for one year after the tsunami struck the Kerala coast.

They found that the wells recorded an unusual saline character and taste.

The low dissolved oxygen content of the groundwater collected from wells indicated the tendency of slow deterioration of quality due to contamination. It was found that wells that were de-watered and cleaned regularly retained the saltiness.

Water Quality Index was also low in most of the areas ravaged by the killer waves.

The study found that groundwater pumped out and being supplied to the public was not of desirable quality. Scientists say that excessive exploitation of ground water was found in areas such as Alappad, Arattupuzha, Andhakaranazhy, Edavanakad and Cherai.

In their recommendations, researchers have pointed out the need to demarcate tsunami-affected coastal areas as vulnerable to such disasters.