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Beyond the heavy toll on human lives, the Indian Ocean earthquake has caused an enormous environmental impact that will affect the region for many years to come. Reports of severe damage inflicted on ecosystemssuch as mangroves, coral reefs, forests, coastal wetlands, vegetation, sand dunes and rock formations, animal and plant biodiversity and groundwater have been received by governments and media. In addition, the spread of solid and liquid waste and industrial chemicals, water pollution and the destruction of sewagecollectors and treatment plants threaten the environment even further, in untold ways. The environmental impact will take a long time and significant resources to assess.
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