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Reconstruction and Recovery: The Aftermath of the 2004 Tsunami in Aceh

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 7:30pm to 8:30pm

Wilder Hall (Student Union), 101 135 West Lorain Street, Oberlin, OH 44074

On December 26, 2004, a tsunami devastated areas in Indonesia's Aceh province. It is estimated that more than 150,000 people were killed, and large parts of the city were completely destroyed. Oberlin Shansi Visiting Scholar Roli Putra, from Syiah Kuala University in Aceh, worked with the special government agency tasked with overseeing Aceh's recovery and reconstruction.

Seen from an historical perspective, the affects of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in western Indonesia are without comparison. With an epicenter 160 kilometers off the west coast of Aceh at a depth of 20 kilometers, this quake, which registered 9 on the Richter scale, was the worst to strike Asia in the past 40 years.

The impact of these two natural disasters not only resulted in the death of hundreds-of-thousands of people but also completely destroyed Aceh’s economy and infrastructure. The physical damage was estimated at US$6.2 billion (including inflation), with two thirds of the damage directly affecting the private sector. About $700 million was raised for survivors of the tsunami through an international
UN Flash Appeal, of which up to US $500 million was earmarked for
Indonesia. By June 2007, roughly two years after the tragedies, a total
of US $5.8 billion had been allocated to rebuild Aceh- Nias, with an
additional US $1.9 billion committed to “build back better.”

With the assistance of international aid, the government of Indonesia worked very hard to restore the support system of the two regions.

This presentation will consider the rehabilitation efforts of the government of Indonesia, the United Nations, and international organizations, and the lessons learned in the aftermath of the disaster.

Drinks and light snacks will be provided.

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Caroline Floyd

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