Shelter in the wake of the tsunami

Lee, Alexa. (2005). Shelter in the wake of the tsunami B.A. Thesis, School of Geography, Planning & Env Management, The University of Queensland.

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Author Lee, Alexa.
Thesis Title Shelter in the wake of the tsunami
School, Centre or Institute School of Geography, Planning & Env Management
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2005
Thesis type B.A. Thesis
Supervisor Peter Skinner
Total pages 109
Language eng
Subjects 1201 Architecture
Formatted abstract

On the 26th of December 2004, an earthquake of the approximate magnitude 9.1 occurred undersea off the coast of Indonesia.1 This earthquake consequently triggered a tsunami that swamped the coastlines of several coastal countries, devastating land and property and causing the deaths of more than 200, 000 people.2 In the wake of the tsunami, the sheer devastation to the land and the lives of the survivors can only be described as chaos unbridled.


The recovery process from such an unexpected natural disaster is very likely to take years. This thesis is a research on the sheltering process for the survivors after the tsunami. The thesis will focus on understanding the victims’ shelter needs in the recovery process and analyze shelter solutions that could be employed to help these survivors. The thesis will wrap up with a brief investigation of the roles and tasks architects may undertake in the shelter process after the tsunami to help the survivors.


The thesis focus on a specific region: Aceh Special Province of Indonesia. It was the worst hit region among all by the tsunami. Nearly half the casualties from this natural disaster were from this region.


The first chapter describes the tsunami and the destruction it wrought on Aceh. Next, it will review the history, the society, culture of Aceh, to decipher the shelter needs of the people living in Aceh before the tsunami. Finally, the first chapter will sum up the issues of shelter Aceh faces after the tsunami.


Chapter two is a study of a taxonomic model formulated by a prominent disaster researcher, Dr E.L.Quarantelli on the sheltering process after a disaster.3 This chapter touches mainly on the monograph written by him, reviewing the taxonomic model he formulated as well as the case studies which he based his model on. This taxonomic model introduced in this chapter, will serve to be a template of the sheltering process in further chapters as a way of sorting out the chaos and differing shelter needs that comes up during the recovery process.


Chapter three is a collection of case studies of shelter and housing efforts for post disaster situations. The case studies range from design solutions that had been drawn up but never executed in reality, sheltering efforts by aid organizations, shelter solutions offered by urban planners, architects or concerned parties involved in post-disaster shelter and postdisaster reconstruction efforts by governments. These assorted case studies which had no particular connection to one another, are sorted out according to the shelter stage they are most closely associated with. The aim of this chapter is to introduce the different measures taken for varying shelter needs that may have similarities to those that can come up for the Banda Aceh survivors in their recovery process. It will also analyze the effectiveness and efficiency of these measures taken.


Chapter Four is an update on the relief efforts especially of the shelter aspect in Banda Aceh over the first 6 months (26 December 2004- 26 June 2005) after the tsunami struck Banda Aceh. As the tsunami caused a very wide-spread devastation of land and property, the shelter needs will vary according due to the amount of damage suffered in different locations. The relief efforts will be paced alongside Quarantelli’s conceptual model as closely as possible.


Next, the author will discuss the shelter solutions that had been used during the relief efforts, the effectiveness and finally suggest some architectural solutions to the shelter situation in Aceh.


The conclusion summarizes the thesis and comments on the usefulness of it to architects, planners or personnel working in the fields of post-disaster shelter and housing.



The information gathered for the thesis are from two different main sources, the conventional source being books, academic papers and articles and the more unconventional source, the internet.


Information about the tsunami and the damage caused is mainly sourced from the internet. The event of the tsunami, being fairly recent, had not much academic articles written and published on it yet. However, the sheer magnitude of the disaster triggered off a worldwide concern about the tsunami and its victims, that also induced a flood of information on the web by concerned people. The collection and passing on of any information became widely, quickly and easily spread with the aid of technology.


The information is collected mainly from news articles and reports compiled by various governmental or aid organizations and other concerned NGOs (non-government organization). Photographs of the destruction and the aid efforts are taken from eye witnesses or field workers on the sites of destruction who posted them on the world wide web(internet).


Information about Banda Aceh, such as its culture and history are obtained from books, however some information on its current situation, political or other aspects, are also obtained from the web in articles written by journalists or Acehnese refugees. As most web information are obtained from written articles which are not academic, a fair dose of skepticism must be applied to the factualness of the articles as well as keeping in mind, the biasness of the writer. However, they are still a good source of information, while official sources must contend with the task of being absolutely accurate and responsible, hence taking a much longer time to be published. The author, having come from a neighboring country of Indonesia, has a general knowledge and understanding of Indonesia and its society. This general knowledge is also put to use in the thesis.  

Keyword Shelter---Tsunami---Aceh

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (non-RHD) - UQ staff and students only
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Created: Wed, 20 Mar 2013, 09:30:07 EST by Mr Yun Xiao on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service