By Dr S Ghoshal Chaudhuri
The author is Principal Scientist, Natural Resource Management Division, Central Agricultural Research Institute, Port Blair, Andaman
The 2004 tsunami in coastal areas of Andaman and Nicobar Islands has not only devastated lives but also ecosystems rendering the soil and water resources salt affected. Periodical soil and water sampling in selected locations of South Andaman reveals that post tsunami, the soluble salt concentration increased markedly. This was, however, offset by subsequent high rainfall of 3774 mm in 2005 resulting in drastic reduction in the salinity levels at these sites to almost close to pre tsunami levels. The gradual recovery process of the salt affected sites can be augmented by adoption of appropriate location specific engineering and agronomic management strategies.
[caption id="attachment_4390" align="aligncenter" width="1744"] Image: 1. The author collecting samples from the low lying coastal areas where sea water intruded only during tsunami and then receded permanently - Situation I 2. Low lying coastal areas where sea water reaches with every high tide and recedes with low tide - Situation II 3. Low lying coastal areas where there is permanent stagnation of sea water and the depth of impounding increases with high tide - Situation III 4. Saline sea mud...