Deep impact: why post-tsunami wells need a measured approach

Publication year
Emergency type

Following the Asian tsunami of 26 December 2004, the vital domestic fresh-water wells in the coastal zone were either scoured out of the ground entirely or filled with salt water, mud, debris and bodies. Emergency teams naturally exerted huge efforts in trying to restore intact wells, first clearing and then pumping them out. However, it soon became apparent little could be done to rehabilitate the wells in the short term due to the massive intrusion of saline groundwater as well as the fundamentally unsatisfactory nature of local water supply and drainage arrangements.