What Are the Aftereffects of a Tsunami?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the aftereffects for humans of a tsunami include lack of clean drinking water, loss of shelter and injury from remaining debris. Economically, areas affected by tsunamis struggle to amass funding to repair damaged structures. Those who survive tsunamis often suffer mentally and emotionally.

Immediately after a tsunami, injured victims require access to prompt and effective medical care. This often leaves hospitals and medical staff overburdened. In many cases, outside help must be brought in from neighboring cities and states, and this process is very expensive. People are left without homes, community buildings and other important structures. It is a very costly process to rebuild these structures and restore the community to its former condition. People often move away from areas that have been damaged by tsunamis, potentially leaving these areas economically depressed for decades.

There are a number of secondary health concerns following a tsunami. Dead and decaying bodies that are not properly handled can harbor infection and cause illness in rescue workers. Drinking water may become contaminated, leading to outbreaks of various bacterial diseases. People forced to live without heat and running water due to loss of their homes may succumb to the elements, experiencing illness and in some cases, death. Even those who survey and assess the damaged land in hopes of rebuilding run the risk of injury or illness due to lingering infectious agents or stray debris.