Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Planting Trees Protected Tsunami Village

Remember the right wing's idiotic "Kyoto Treaty wouldn't prevent a tsunami" talking point right after the disaster? Turns out keeping lots of tree cover near the coast is a good, inexpensive defense:
In 2002, a village in India's Tamil Nadu state planted 80,244 saplings to enter the Guinness World Records book.
When the tsunami roared into the coast of southern India on 26 December many villages and towns were crushed as the giant waves swept across open beaches.

But the people of Naluvedapathy in Vedaranyam district, south of the Tamil Nadu's worst affected areas around Nagapattinam, remained almost unscathed.

Unlike other coastal areas in Tamil Nadu, Naluvedapathy is shielded by a kilometre-thick tree cover.
In spite of being located on a higher elevation, the huge waves flooded their homes, paths and farms.

But the thousands of trees helped break the impact.

Nagappan, an old farmer, says the village has always had trees but the numbers increased vastly when the local administration sold the idea to villagers to create a world record three years ago.

"We were saved by these trees. Other coastal villages should also create a tree cover for their safety," he says.
Source: BBC Tsunami villagers give thanks to trees Feb 16, 2005 (Emphasis added.)

Not that a high-tech tsunami warning system wouldn't be a good idea, but why not establish a tree belt around the coast as well. Yes, it spoils the view from tourist's ground level hotel rooms, but it is inexpensive insurance against disaster. (I expect it would help against storm surges from typhoons, too.)


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