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Wednesday 19 January 2005

Tsunami environmental damage widespread,experts say

Vast expanses of once-green rice fields now turned brown from salty ocean water carried far inland only hint at the environmental damage caused by last month's mighty tsunami, environmental experts say.

They say the wave sparked by a powerful earthquake on Dec. 26 has destroyed beaches, damaged coral reefs, polluted ground water, put animal species in danger of extinction, changed the contours of land and rivers and rendered much farm land useless.

"The environmental damage has been huge, from the obvious and visible destruction along the coastal areas to the possibility of extinction of certain species," said Ridha Saleh, deputy of director at Walhi, a leading Indonesian environmental group.

Read the Full Article from Reuters AlertNet

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