Review of Impact of Post-Tsunami Reconstruction and Rehabilitation on Infrastructure Facilities

Roshani Palliyaguru, Dilanthi Amaratunga, Richard Haigh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


On 26 December 2004, an earthquake in the West Coast of Northern Sumatra set off a series of other earthquakes lasting for several hours which resulted in a Tsunami in the Indian Ocean. This led to widespread disaster, particularly in Sri Lanka, India, the Maldives, Indonesia and Thailand, with damage also in Malaysia, Bangladesh, Somalia, the Seychelles and Kenya. Sri Lanka, the ‘pearl of the Indian Ocean’, blessed with abundant natural resources, faced one of the worst natural disasters recorded in recent history. The Tsunami struck a relatively thin but long coastal area stretching over 1,000 kilometers - two thirds of the country's coastline. The destructive ocean waves killed more than 35,000 people, displaced nearly 2,500,000 people and destroyed thousands of houses. The overall damage to Sri Lanka is estimated at $1 billion, with a large proportion of losses concentrated in housing, tourism, fisheries and transportation. Development Partners range from private individuals both inside and outside Sri Lanka, to governments and NGOs. Coastal infrastructure, namely roads, railways, power, telecommunications, water supply and fishing ports were also significantly affected. Reactions ranged from immediate assistance to communities and local governments in restarting to function as speedily as possible, to short and long-term assistance in supporting communities to rebuild their infrastructure and housing so that they might again have normal lives and eventually recover from the trauma of the tsunami.

As the infrastructure consists primarily of transportation, electric and telecommunications, and water and sewerage facilities that provide services to the public through a network of roads, rails, ports, airports, pipes and lines, the effectiveness of infrastructure systems impact on all economic activities. In this context, this paper aims to analyse the impact of the Tsunami on infrastructure facilities in Sri Lanka and how the post-Tsunami reconstruction process has affected the development of the same. A comprehensive literature review was carried out regarding the Tsunami and its impact on the nation. The infrastructure-related reconstruction and rehabilitation data were obtained from the RADA (Reconstruction and Development Agency, formerly TAFREN) through unstructured interviews conducted among personnel involved in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of infrastructure facilities. Results confirm that after almost one and a half years, the Tsunami rehabilitation process is slow as compared to its start.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCOBRA 2006
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Annual Research Conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
EditorsElaine Sivyer
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoyal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781842193074
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes
EventAnnual Research Conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Sep 20068 Sep 2006


ConferenceAnnual Research Conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
Abbreviated titleCOBRA 2006
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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