The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami disaster caused the deaths of 300.000 people, forced over one million to displacement, and estimated property damage results in billions of dollars. Images of drowned bodies, whole cities levelled with the ground and portraits of the tragic destinies of survivors flashed our television screens for weeks. Half a year later, the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System was formally established as the solution to prevent future tsunami disasters. In this thesis I aim to shed light to the construction of not only the tsunami warning system, but also the construction of disasters. Mass media, the United Nations and modern academic disaster theories will be under the scope, and the analysis concentrates on how each of these arenas in the field defines natural disasters and preventive solutions to them. The intention behind this thesis is to find out whether or not the tsunami early warning system will be able to increase the resilience of the people and communities at risk in the Indian Ocean region.
Keywords Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System, Vulnerability, Risk, Disaster