The 2004 tsunami was massive in every respect: the earthquake that preceded it was one of the largest ever recorded, the number of people killed or displaced is estimated at well over a million, and the international community donated billions of dollars to the relief effort. In some cases the tsunami struck regions already embroiled in other kinds of catastrophes – violent conflict and poverty. The tsunami’s presence not only wreaked havoc as a natural disaster, but it left an enduring mark on the political dynamics and power struggles of these places.
Dual Disasters describes what happens when “man-made” and “natural” disasters meet. Focusing specifically on Indonesia and Sri Lanka, countries that had complex emergencies long before the tsunami arrived, Hyndman shows how the storm’s arrival shifted the goals of international aid, altered relations between and within states and accelerated or slowed peacebuilding efforts. With updated comments on the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the book guides readers deftly through the multifaceted forces at work in modern humanitarian disasters.