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|Investigating efficiency of greenbelts for the protection of Sri Lanka’s coasts against ocean wave surges|
|Rans, G.; Jayatissa, L.P.; Hettiarachchi, S.; Koedam, N.; Dahdouh-Guebas, F. (2011). Investigating efficiency of greenbelts for the protection of Sri Lanka’s coasts against ocean wave surges, in: Mees, J. et al. (Ed.) (2011). VLIZ Young Marine Scientists' Day, Brugge, Belgium 25 February 2011: book of abstracts. VLIZ Special Publication, 48: pp. 69|
|In: Mees, J.; Seys, J. (Ed.) (2011). VLIZ Young Marine Scientists' Day, Brugge, Belgium 25 February 2011: book of abstracts. VLIZ Special Publication, 48. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. xiv, 143 pp., meer|
|In: VLIZ Special Publication. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. ISSN 1377-0950, meer|
Aim of the study
After the tsunami of 26 December 2004, we discovered that some villages close to the coast were less affected by the destructive wave than others (Dahdouh-Guebas et al., 2005; Feagin et al., 2010). This was explained by the presence of a ‘greenbelt’ between the village and the ocean which was wide or/and strong enough to decrease the catastrophic nature of this event.
The objective of our ongoing research is to classify greenbelts (forests, sand dune with or without vegetation) all along the Sri Lanka coast using remote sensing and fieldwork in order to qualify the vulnerability of the Sri Lanka coast. The land field survey was done in the southern part of Sri Lanka between Matara and Tampaddai.
We selected areas where the impacts of tsunami were less than that in other places. To identify these areas we created an index based on percentage of deaths in each Grama Niladari (i.e. village officer) or GN division (smallest administrative unit in Sri Lanka). In addition we used the status of the area after the event. These two indicators are not perfect but together they give us complete information about the impact of the event.
The ongoing part of the research aims not only at identifying the vulnerable areas but also to provide recommendations and guidelines on the establishments of greenbelt barriers. Different greenbelts can be suggested when knowing the features of the coastal area such as topography, distance from the ocean, presence of sand dunes or coastal forests.