In this study, we aimed to document the run-up and inundation of recent tsunamis and loss of life in the December 26, 2004, tsunami in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. An estimated 1925 people lost their lives and 5555 were reported missing in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands because of the tsunami. The Nicobar group of Islands—namely Great Nicobar, Katchall, Teressa, Nancowry, Trinkat, Car Nicobar, and others—were severely affected by tsunami because they were close to the epicentre. The effect on the Andaman Islands was less severe because of the island's geometry and topography. Because the settlements in the South Andaman Islands are largely confined to sheltered areas like bays that are far from the coast, and more importantly, in elevated areas (except for certain low-elevation, far inland locations like the Sippighat area) there was almost no loss of life. However, damage to property, especially fishing vessels, was high in most of the area, where seawater inundated the land completely. This field survey was conducted at 26 sites; the Little Andaman passenger jetty area recorded the highest run-up of 17.26 m, and the Chidiyatopu area had the highest inundation at 500 m. Furthermore, this survey also supports the assertion that the low-lying areas of Little Andaman were severely affected by the tsunami waves because of their gradual elevation increase.
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Vol. 2008 • No. 241