Tsunamis have tremendous consequences on not only the immediate region of impact, but internationally as well. In terms of the impacted region, the most immediate concern will be the immediate deluge of water. Nearly 70% of all tsunami deaths occur within moments of landfall, following the waves crashing into the terrestrial surface. Because most houses are not equipped to deal with the force of such waves or the actual amount of water, houses topple and people are carried and drowned. Also with such an immense amount of water comes flooding. As tsunamis traditionally occur in the South-East Asian, South Asian and Pacific regions where communities are very dense, and often concentrated on coastlines, this flooding kills thousands instantly.
Tsunamis pack enough force to destroy buildings and cause massive flooding. As a result, many people could be killed in a tsunami. The recent 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami alone killed 275,000 people.
The force of the wave often damages the physical structure of the ecosystem. In this process, rich bodies of corals are often destroyed. Toxic wastes are also often dispersed while exotic species are introduced into ecosystems.
In addition to these direct consequences, secondary effects of tsunamis bear equally as damaging results. These include:
The wet environment in the aftermath of a tropical tsunami, combined with the destruction of sanitation facilities and a warm tropical climate, is the perfect breeding ground for epidemics of disease which claim lives long after the storm passes. One of the most common post-tsunami injuries is stepping on a nail in storm debris, leading to a risk of tetanus or other infections. This amplified with the understanding that flooding and the sudden increase in water attracts a significant amount of aquatic creatures like crocodiles and several snakes, creates a very troublesome resultant.
Tsunamis can often destroy power centers which in turn cuts the ability of thousands of people to access electricity, running water, telephones and other essential devices. Because the water deposition of a tsunami occurs suddenly, individuals often will have no other service providers to turn to, as all will be ruined within moments of each other. This drastically slows rescue efforts and impedes communication between those stranded and needing help.
Tsunamis often destroy vital bridges and roadways that are key cogs in the food and supply delivery efforts in the days following. In such instances, help is delayed at a time when it is needed most crucially. Additionally, because most of the area is flooded, small boats and other small cargo vessels are needed, complicating the matter of bringing substantial aid. In some cases, helicopters and planes are used, but these resources are expensive and not readily available.