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Objectives: Environmental hazards are part of the Earth’s natural cycle and are ongoing within human history. When vulnerable situations meet environmental hazards, disasters occur where human and natural costs could be enormous. This study aimed to explore the experiences of the victims of coastal erosion during the monsoon season. Methods: Seven victims of catastrophic coastal erosion in the Kollam District of Kerala, India, were interviewed from December 2013 to February 2014. The study followed Edmond Husserl’s descriptive phenomenological method. Result: These interviews constituted the primary data source. Three main themes with eleven subthemes emerged from these data. The main themes were impact, consequences and recovery. The subthemes were living in constant fear, escaping from the catastrophe; cataclysmic sea waves and their tumultuous behaviour, instant damage and destruction, the epoch of losses; agony and suffering; homelessness-helplessness-sleeplessness mixed with fear; government aid only in dreams; haunting memories; never-ending daily needs; first home and native land; and the desire to go back to the site of the disaster. Conclusion: From the derived themes, a phenomenon associated with coastal erosion evolved. The phenomenon is termed “Catastrophic coastal erosion: A cycle of impact, consequences, and recovery”.
Disaster Victims; Ecological and Environmental Phenomena; Natural Disasters; Oceans and Seas; Quality of Life; Qualitative Research; Tsunamis; India.
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