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SCRAP BOOK TSUNAMI DEC 2004

Tsunamis hit South India, over 3,000 killed The communication system in this area was completely destroyed and the only mode of communication was the
satellite phone which was available with the Deputy Commissioner stationed at Car Nicobar Island.
26 Dec 2004, 1535 hrs IST, TIMES NEWS NETWORK &
The Navy had been asked to send some ships to Car Nicobar and other tiny Islands to make an assessment of
AGENCIES the damages to the life and property.

NEW DELHI: Imagine going for a morning walk along the sea as you do every morning. The sea is a Pacific Hundreds of pilgrims were also stranded at the Vivekanda rock in Kaynakumari who were being supplied food
influence and you perhaps dip your toe in packets till ships reached to rescued them.
fishermen all over the
the water. But before you realise what’s happening, you are caught in one of the worst natural calamities in
living memory. For hundreds in Chennai’s Marina Beach on Sunday morning, it was nightmarishly like this. Tamil Nadu coast soon got a jolt of their lives. Within seconds, the damage was total, with Nagapattinam
district being the worse-hit, with 1,500 people killed. Cuddalore and Kanya-kumari also reported a large
For thousands of fisherfolk, who had gone like every morning into the sea, it was again the same story — number of deaths.
suddenly being caught in a phenomenon, tsunami, which struck India for the first time in recorded history.
Waves of fury and destruction lashed the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, washing away over 2,500 people, leaving
The country was still coming to grips with the nature and scale of the disaster. The toll, according to the an equal number untraceable. After an aerial survey in the evening, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa put the figure at
government, was 2,000 and rising, but other estimates put the toll at over 3,000. And there’s no news yet of 1567 and announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 1 lakh to the families of each of the victims. Thousands of
45,000 people in Car Nicobar and Greater Nicobar where a quake of 7.5 magnitude hit early in the morning. crores of assets have been lost.

The trigger for the tsunami — a destructive wave train created by an undersea disturbance — was an 8.9 Giant waves crashed in and water flowed into areas close to the sea, inundating many places and washing away
magnitude earthquake, just off the northern tip of Indonesia's Sumatra island. thousands of huts. In Chennai alone, close to 110 were declared dead — most were residents of fishing colonies
off North Chennai. Relief and rescue operations were in full swing only by afternoon, after sea water entered
There were a series of aftershocks, creating mammoth waves that hit coastal Tamil Nadu, where the toll was the almost 30-40 feet into the city roads. Cars and boats were thrown aside by the gushing tidal waves.
highest, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Pondicherry. Orissa and West Bengal escaped relatively unscathed, with
only two deaths reported till evening.

Over a thousand deaths are feared in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, with extensive damage to the airport at
Car Nicobar, just 115 nautical miles (about 300 km) from Sumatra, and Campbell Bay.
Tsunami caught the govt napping
26 Dec 2004, 2345 hrs IST, TNN
The airport at Port Blair was damaged too, but a couple of flights took off later with fleeing tourists. Many more
are still stranded. NEW DELHI: Though the tsunami that hit Sumatra island took three hours to crash into the Indian coast, no
measures to save life and property could
In Tamil Nadu, the toll is expected to touch 2,500, with one report putting the figure at over 1,000 in
Nagapattinam district alone. Cuddalore and Kanyakumari were the other badly-hit districts. Hundreds of be taken. The lack of knowledge on tsunami is to be blamed, says the government.
pilgrims, including SC Judge GP Mathur, were left stranded on Vivekananda Rock near Kanyakumari.
"This is the first time tsunami waves have hit the Indian coast. It is a new phenomenon for us... You can't
Hundreds of fishermen were missing and Chennai was inundated by what witnesses called six-metre-high predict them," said Union home secretary Dhirendra Singh.
waves. The Kalpakkam nuclear power also reported an influx of sea water, but officials said it was "fully safe".
Dr R S Dattatrayam, director (seismology) at India Meteorological Department, added: "We had indications
pretty early in the morning, almost soon after it (the tsunami wave) originated (in Indonesia). But we were not
prepared to gauge it. We don't have warning facilities for tsunami. We knew something would be hitting us, but
TN battered: Over 2,500 dead, thousands missing couldn't tell the time, the location and the intensity."
26 Dec 2004, 2227 hrs IST, TNN
The ISRO blamed the lack of wherewithal. It said its remote sensing satellites are not equipped to track killer
waves. As it happened, the Indian Remote Sensing Satellite was not imaging the coastline when the quake off
CHENNAI: It seemed a calm morning around 6.30 am. But joggers on Marina beach in Chennai, pilgrims at
Sumatra triggered the huge tidal waves.
Velankanni Church, and They said the crisis management group was focusing on the fate of nearly 45,000
people living in an area between Car Nicobar and Greater Nicobar

Island was uncertain.


Waterworld nightmare for stranded tourists 27 Dec 2004, 0117 hrs IST, PTI
26 Dec 2004, 2355 hrs IST, TNN PONDICHERRY: At least 280 people were killed when tidal waves lashed coastal areas of the Union Territory
of Pondicherry on Sunday, Chief Minister N Rangasamy said.
NEW DELHI: For early morning pilgrims, bathers, joggers and tourists in the balmy climes of southern India
After an aerial survey of the worst affected Karaikal region, Rangasamy told reporters that 211 people were
and Southeast Asia, Boxing Day could hardly have been more devastating or more unexpected.
killed in Karaikal and 69 in Pondicherry.
For the 500 tourists who were left stranded on the Vivekananda rock memorial at Kanyakumari, the spectacle of
The Chief Minister announced an For those injured in the disaster, the administration would provide Rs 5000.
the angry seas was even more fearful because there were no boats to ferry them back to the mainland after huge
To enable the homeless to reconstruct houses, a sum of Rs 10,000 would be made available immediately.
waves struck the coastal area in the aftermath of the tremor on Sunday morning.
Earlier, the Lt Governor told newsmen on return from Karaikal at Rajnivas that the administration was
By evening Supreme Court judge G P Mathur and his wife were among the first tobe evacuated by a helicopter
undertaking rescue and relief operations in cooperation with Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard.
from the memorial. Local fishermen, however, showed tremendous courage to launch rescue efforts on their
The wave train that chugs in death and destruction 27 Dec 2004, 0209 hrs IST
own and start ferrying back the marooned to shore in batches.
Passengers arriving from the Andaman Islands to Kolkata spoke of large scale devastation in Ross Islands and
North Bay areas, which were hit by tidal waves.
Tourists reported cracks in buildings in Port Blair. In Kolkata, a plane was sent to rescue stranded passengers
from Port Blair, where about 6,000 feet of runway space was now available. Dream holidays that turned into a disaster
M S Rao, a Coast Guard official, said tremors were felt sporadically from 6.40 am until 9 am. "I was in the
Coast Guard mess when I felt the first tremor. It was chaos all around."
27 Dec 2004, 0220 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: Parts of Southeast Asia that bore the brunt of the killer tsunami happens to be one of the most-
popular vacation spots. For thousands of European, Australian, American and South African vacationers in
Thailand, Maldives, Sri Lanka and the Andamans, the dream vacation turned out to be early morning horror.
45,000 Nicobar inhabitants cut off from mainland Four South African tourists are officially missing in Thailand, while European tourists were badly hit in the
low-lying Maldives.
26 Dec 2004, 2357 hrs IST, Rajat Pandit , TNN Two-thirds of Capital Male was under water, about 1.2 meters in some areas. About a third of the country's
330,000 population live on the island. Up to 10,000 British tourists could have been affected by the disaster, a
NEW DELHI: The fate of around 45,000 people — the entire population living in the stretch between British travel agency official said in London. However, the UK Foreign Office said no British tourists are
Car Nicobar and Great Nicobar islands remained unknown till late on Sunday. reported missing. The French and German foreign ministries have set up crisis cells to deal with the
With communication lines to several islands in that stretch of the Andaman and Nicobar archipalego, senior catastrophe. Germany's TUI said it was in the process df gathering information on how many German tourists
government officials were keeping their fingers crossed. were in the area, but a spokesman said communication was extremely difficult.
Though a more powerful earthquake occurred near the west coast of Sumatra in the early hours of Sunday, a More than 5,000 Italian travellers were in the region, most of them in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Italian travel
second one measuring 7.3 on the Richter Scale had its epicentre near Indira Point (southernmost tip of Indian agencies said.
territory) on Great Nicobar Island around 9 am.
"Damage is very serious in Car Nicobar and Great Nicobar, but we are yet to get information about it," said
home minister Shivraj Patil.
A senior official added, "There is no way of knowing the destruction there. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands Tales of trauma
are spread over 700 miles...we are in touch with officials north of Car Nicobar over satellite phones but there
are no communication links south of that." 27 Dec 2004, 0226 hrs IST
The tsunami, generated by the first quake, left at least 10 soldiers dead at the IAF base at Car Nicobar. Flights
from Port Blair airport could not be operated since the runway developed huge cracks under the onslaught of "The weather was fine with no clouds. There was no warning and suddenly the seawater just hit the city. In
the tsunami. The seaport was also damaged, upsetting maritime operations as well. some parts it rose upto the chest level." Bustami, a resident of Lhokseumawe in Indonesia.
However, later in the day, three of IAF's AN-32 aircraft managed to land at the airport after temporary repairs, "As I was standing there, a car actually floated into the lobby and overturned because the current was so strong.
while two Jet Airways and an Indian Airlines flight also managed to take off. When I got close to the beach I heard more screaming and suddenly I saw this huge wave, taller than the palm
The Navy also despatched six ships from Port Blair for relief operations in the Car Nicobar and Campbell Bay trees, coming to crash down on us. It was unbelievable." Carlsson, who works at a beachside hotel in Phuket.
areas. "A large landing ship, INS Gariyal, returning from an exercise, was diverted for relief operations in Car "Then there was this one almighty surge. I mean literally this was the one which was picking up pickup trucks
Nicobar," said an officer. and motorcycles and throwing them around in front of us."
Paul Ramsbottom, British holidaymaker in Phuket
"A wave up to 3 metres in height hit this area and everything was swept away, including my three-wheeler
taxi."

280 killed in Pondicherry


1,000 feared killed in Andaman and Nicobar Tidal tandava over, it's time to take toll
27 Dec 2004, 0254 hrs IST, PTI 28 Dec 2004, 0005 hrs IST, TS Sreenivasa Raghavan, TNN

PORT BLAIR: At least 1,000 people were feared killed and over 200 injured in the Andaman and Nicobar VELANKANNI: In Velankanni, now only the ghosts walk. It is inhabited by a pile of bodies mounting on the
Islands. "The situation is very grim. The death toll will go up to at least 1,000," said SB Deol, Inspector General shore which the tsunami swallowed on Sunday. The living are like spectres, haunted faces searching for
of Police, after a high level meeting. Deol said the Lt Governor has visited Car Nicobar, which bore the brunt of familiar visages among the bloated corpses.Heavy rain on Monday compounded Sunday's devastation. The
nature's fury. Relief operations are on in full swing with helicopters making a number of sorties during the day. beach and road leading to the church were scattered with washed-up bodies, the continuing aftermath of the
Navy and Coast Guard Dornier aircraft will be pressed into operation to airdrop rations on Monday. tidal tandava . The smell of putrefaction pervaded the once salubrious air. The toll in Velankanni is 1,850, and
still counting. The police said it could mount to 2,500.On the once tranquil beach, it was each to his own.
Families of pilgrims, who had come to this church-centre mostly from Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and
Toll reaches 2500 in TN Maharashtra, scoured the wet sands, hoping — and not hoping — to identify their relatives. Nearly 100 people
27 Dec 2004, 0830 hrs IST, PTI from Bangalore alone stumbled around in numb fear.
The crows showed more interest than the police did. They pecked away with impunity. The police arrived, but
CHENNAI: With relief and rescue works in full swing throughout the night, the number of deaths in the did show any great haste in plunging into action till 3 pm. An official said that his men were not equipped
devastating tragedy wrought by earthquake and tidal waves in Tamil Nadu has touched nearly 2500. enough with raincoats and masks. Undeterred by inadequacies, voluntary organisations from neighbouring
Police and official sources said that in Nagapattinam alone, more than 1,700 have been perished, including 250 districts carried on retrieving the victims.
at the famous shrine area of Velankani.The sources said 190 bodies have so far been found in Chennai alone.
Meanwhile, an Indian Airlines special flight, carrying relief materials, left Chennai for Colombo on Monday
morning. Another special flight is schdeudled to take off for Colombo at about 10.00 am, the sources said.

Tidal tandava over, it's time to take toll


Nuclear scientist among Tsunami victims 28 Dec 2004, 0005 hrs IST, TS Sreenivasa Raghavan, TNN
27 Dec 2004, 1424 hrs IST, PTI
VELANKANNI: In Velankanni, now only the ghosts walk. It is inhabited by a pile of bodies mounting on the
CHENNAI: Nuclear scientist Dr A Selvaraj, who was attached to the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic shore which the tsunami swallowed on Sunday. The living are like spectres, haunted faces searching for
Research (IGCAR) at Kalpakkam, was among those killed in the Tsunami tidal waves which struck the familiar visages among the bloated corpses. Heavy rain on Monday compounded Sunday's devastation. The
coastline in the area. Atomic energy sources said the body of Selvaraj had been identified. beach and road leading to the church were scattered with washed-up bodies, the continuing aftermath of the
When asked if any more employees of IGCAR had been affected, the sources said over phone from Mumbai tidal tandava . The smell of putrefaction pervaded the once salubrious air. The toll in Velankanni is 1,850, and
that due to disruption in telecommunication lines, details were not available. still counting. The police said it could mount to 2,500. On the once tranquil beach, it was each to his own.
Meanwhile police sources said the toll in Kalpakkam area was nearly 60 with an unspecified number missing. Families of pilgrims, who had come to this church-centre mostly from Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and
Maharashtra, scoured the wet sands, hoping — and not hoping — to identify their relatives. Nearly 100 people
from Bangalore alone stumbled around in numb fear. The crows showed more interest than the police did. They
pecked away with impunity. The police arrived, but did show any great haste in plunging into action till 3 pm.
An official said that his men were not equipped enough with raincoats and masks. Undeterred by inadequacies,
voluntary organisations from neighbouring districts carried on retrieving the victims.
Biggest-ever relief operation gets underway Indonesian tsunami death toll hits 441
28 Dec 2004, 2240 hrs IST, AGENCIES 18 Jul 2006, 2023 hrs IST, AP
PANGANDARAN, INDONESIA: Tearful parents searched for missing children as soldiers pulled corpse after
BANDA ACEH: The biggest humanitarian relief operation ever mounted was underway on Tuesday along corpse from the debris of homes flattened by the second tsunami to hit Indonesia in two years.
Asia’s devastated shores as the overall death toll from a massive earthquake and the tidal waves it unleashed More than 340 people died, officials said, with another 229 missing. Bodies covered in white sheets piled up at
approached 40,000, amid fears it could rise much higher.The fear that outbreaks of disease could unleash a makeshift morgues or laid under the blazing sun on a beach popular with local and foreign tourists.
second wave of tragedy on a region struggling to cope with the first also loomed large with decomposing bodies "I don't mind losing any of my property, but please God, return my son," said a villager who gave the name
and sewerage contaminating water sources.In some areas food and medicines were in desperately short supply. Basril, as he and his wife searched though mounds of rubble at the once idyllic Pangandaran resort.
Indonesia’s vice-president Yusuf Kalla, who is in charge of coordinating relief efforts, said he estimated that The magnitude 7.7 undersea quake on Monday triggered the two-meter high wall of water that crashed into a
"21,000 to 25,000 people” had been killed in Sunday’s disaster. 180 kilometer (110 mile) stretch of beach on southern Java island, which was unaffected by the devastating
2004 Asian tsunami. Though local authorities failed to issue warnings, with one scientist saying they'd realized
the quake's power too late, a few people said they'd recognized the danger when they saw the sea recede, and
fled to high ground. A black wave shot ashore half an hour later, sending boats, cars and motorbikes crashing
into resorts and fishing villages, and flooding areas 300 meters (yards) inland, witnesses said. The death toll
rose to at least 341, Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare Aburizal Bakrie said on Tuesday, with another
229 others missing and feared dead. "We are still finding many bodies. Many are stuck in the ruins of the
houses," said local police chief Syamsuddin Janieb as soldiers nearby pulled a toddler's body from the mud,
then washed it for a traditional burial. Almost all the victims were Indonesians, but a Pakistani, Swede and a
Dutch citizen were among those killed, local and foreign ministry officials said. At least 42,000 people fled
.
their homes, either because they were destroyed or in fear of another tsunami, adding to the difficulty of
2004 Indian Ocean tsunami biggest in 600 years: Study counting casualties. At the area's main emergency center, the Banjar Public Hospital, doctors and nurses
30 Oct 2008, 1000 hrs IST, AP scrambled to treat a steady stream of patients, most from the Pangandaran coast. Some slept on dirty mattresses
on the floor, while others were treated in the admissions hall amid the bustle of family members searching for
NEW YORK: The tsunami that killed 230,000 people in 2004 was the biggest in the Indian Ocean in some 600 loved ones. Among the handful of foreign patients was Saudi Arabian Hamed Abukhamiss, 40, who lost his
years, two new geological studies suggest. That long gap might explain how enough geological stress built up wife and his son, 4. Enormous waves had separated the family during an afternoon of surfing, shopping and
to power the huge undersea earthquake that launched the killer waves four years ago, researchers said. The eating at a waterfront cafe.
work appears in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature. Two research teams report that by digging pits and Abukhamiss, who suffered minor injuries, said he told himself "I'm not going to give up,'' as he was repeatedly
taking core samples in Thailand and northern Sumatra, they found evidence that the last comparably large sucked under the swirling water and battered by debris. "I'm not going to die.'' His other son, Yousif, 12, saw
tsunami struck between the years 1300 and 1400. The researchers found deposits of sand that were apparently the wave approaching with a pair of binoculars, but no one believed him when he yelled "tsunami!" Indonesia
left by the waves, and estimated their age with carbon dating of associated plant debris. The December 2004 was hardest hit by a 2004 tsunami that killed at least 216,000 people in a dozen Indian Ocean nations. More
disaster killed people in 14 countries. Waves more than 100 feet high struck northern Sumatra and deposited than a half the dead were in Sumatra island's Aceh province. Though the country started to install an early
sand more than a mile inland, researchers said. In Thailand, the waves also ran more than a mile inland, leaving warning system after that disaster, it is still in the early stages, covering only Sumatra. The government had
deposits of sand some 2 inches to 8 inches (5 centimetres to 20 centimetres) thick. been planning to extend the warning system to Java, which was hit by a quake in May that killed more than
5,800 people, sometime next year. Fauzi, a scientist who goes by only one name, said he and others had tried to
radio government offices across the danger zone, but acknowledged they got a late start because they initially
measured the quake at less than magnitude 6.
"After the quake occurred, people ran to the hills ... so in actual fact there was a kind of natural early warning
system,'' he said in Jakarta. However, of dozens of people interviewed by the AP in Pangandaran on Tuesday,
only one person said he felt a slight tremor. None said there was a mass movement of people to higher ground
before the tsunami struck. Indonesia is on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault
lines encircling the Pacific Basin.
Govt withdraws tsunami alert
12 Sep 2007, 2237 hrs IST, PTI

NEW DELHI: People in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Andhra
Pradesh and Kerala today heaved a sigh relief after being on the edge briefly as government withdrew a tsunami
alert issued following a massive earthquake in Indonesia's Sumatra Island. Against the backdrop of
unprecedented death and devastation caused by the 2004 tsunami, Union Home Ministry had promptly issued a
tsunami "red alert" to Andaman and Nicobar Islands soon after the quake off the west coast of Sumatra islands.
However, late tonight, the Ministry withdrew the alert as the tsunami threat passed. "The tsunami alert has been
withdrawn", a Home Ministry official said. Earlier, the alert was sounded within 20 minutes of the quake
measuring 8.2 on the Richter Scale striking Sumatra Island and the national disaster management system went
on a high alert. In Andaman and Nicobar Islands, people nearer the sea were asked to move to safer places, and India unveils tsunami warning system
asked coastal states to take precautionary measures like asking fishermen not to venture out in the sea. Alert
was also sounded in Car Nicobar, Katchal, Hut Bay, Nancowrie and Campbell Bay island which bore the brunt 15 Oct 2007, 1257 hrs IST, PTI
of the December 2004 tsunami. Orissa government had mounted evacuation of people from six coastal districts
of the state. The Army was alerted to remain prepared for evacuation in case of emergency. HYDERABAD: India on Monday unveiled its own tsunami early warning system put together by its scientists,
three years after being caught off guard by the giant killer waves that wreaked havoc along the country's
southern coastline. The National Early Warning System for Tsunami and Storm Surges in the Indian Ocean was
dedicated to the nation by Minister of Earth Sciences Kapil Sibal in Hyderabad at an impressive ceremony
attended by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy, top scientists and senior government
officials.The tsunami warning centre, which has taken shape at the Indian National Centre for Ocean
Information Services (INCOIS) here, will issue alerts for the killer waves within 30 minutes of an earthquake.
'Country's best tsunami warning system in Indian Ocean' "We had promised to put in place a tsunami warning system soon after the December 2004 tsunami devastated
many coastal parts of the country. We deliver the system today," Sibal said after the inauguration. The Centre
28 Jan 2009, 2048 hrs IST, TNN has been established by Ministry of Earth Sciences at a cost of Rs.125 crore in collaboration with Department
of Science and Technology, Department of Space and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. The
SURATHKAL (DK): "We have developed the best tsunami early warning system, making it possible alert Centre will generate and give timely advisories to the Ministry of Home Affairs for dissemination to the public
people, well before it hits the Indian coastline," said P G Diwakar, head of the regional remote sensing service for which a satellite-based virtual private network for disaster management support has been established. This
centre (RRSSC), ISRO, Bangalore. He was delivering a lecture on space technology for ocean and coastal network enables early warning centre to disseminate warnings to the MHA, as well as to the state emergency
applications, as part of the two-week long AICTE-MHRD sponsored winter school, at the department of operations centres.
applied mechanics and hydraulics at NITK, Surathkal, on Tuesday. Over 900 tsunamis had been reported in the
Pacific Ocean during the 20th century, while the India Ocean, witnessed six tsunamis, including the latest 2004
catastrophic tsunami that shook the TN coast. To prevent more such disasters, the advanced tsunami warning
system was established in the Indian Ocean zone, Diwakar said. The bathymetric tools, along with tidal gauges
with a specified network of seismic stations, have been established at Port Blair, Diglipur, in order to detect the
tsunami and other coastal disasters, he said.
Space technology, with the help of Oceansat-II which was launched recently, is being widely used to monitor
global warming, potential fishing zones (PFZ), chlorophyll information, shoreline changes, along with
aquaculture profiling. Professor E S M Suresh from technical teachers training research institute (TTTRI),
Chennai, spoke on the application of GIS in the management of solid wastes by Chennai city corporation.
Professor B T Patil spoke on concrete and corrosion in marine environment and Professor Subrahmany K,
spoke on system techniques in construction management.
the tsunami, unfortunately, gave them the perfect opportunity to rid the area of people," says Vanessa Peters,
India unveils tsunami warning system Forum for Securing Land and Livelihood Rights of the Coastal Community (FLLRC).
15 Oct 2007, 1257 hrs IST, PTI A senior IAS official who did not want to be named pointed out that while people were being rehabilitated after
the tsunami, Thidir Nagar residents were shifted under a TNSCB plan. "Since tenements were lying vacant in
HYDERABAD: India on Monday unveiled its own tsunami early warning system put together by its scientists, Kannagi Nagar, we allotted the lot to them. It is true that living far away from the city poses problems to the
three years after being caught off guard by the giant killer waves that wreaked havoc along the country's livelihood of these people. A possible solution is the people looking for jobs in Kannagi Nagar itself," he says.
southern coastline. The National Early Warning System for Tsunami and Storm Surges in the Indian Ocean was
dedicated to the nation by Minister of Earth Sciences Kapil Sibal in Hyderabad at an impressive ceremony
attended by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy, top scientists and senior government
officials. The tsunami warning centre, which has taken shape at the Indian National Centre for Ocean
Information Services (INCOIS) here, will issue alerts for the killer waves within 30 minutes of an earthquake.
"We had promised to put in place a tsunami warning system soon after the December 2004 tsunami devastated
many coastal parts of the country. We deliver the system today," Sibal said after the inauguration. The Centre India joins four-nation group for tsunami relief
has been established by Ministry of Earth Sciences at a cost of Rs.125 crore in collaboration with Department 30 Dec 2004, 1623 hrs IST, Josy Joseph, INDIATIMES NEWS NETWORK
of Science and Technology, Department of Space and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. The
Centre will generate and give timely advisories to the Ministry of Home Affairs for dissemination to the public NEW DELHI: India, Australia, United States and Japan have begun high level consultations to form a
for which a satellite-based virtual private network for disaster management support has been established. This coordination group to deal with the relief operations for the tsunami affected, even as India asserted yet again
network enables early warning centre to disseminate warnings to the MHA, as well as to the state emergency that it doesn’t require international assistance to deal with the tsunami destruction. The four countries are also
operations centres. holding discussions with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to see if it would be best to channelise all relief
efforts through the world body. According to the Ministry of External Affairs, President George Bush and
secretary of state Colin Powell spoke to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Minister of External Affairs K
Natwar Singh on the proposed coordination group on Wednesday. The group would take advantage of "the
For displaced tsunami victims in Kannagi Nagar, it's a hand-to-mouth capabilities and resources that these countries have to effect relief in areas worst affected by the tsunami
existence disaster," an MEA statement said. To President Bush and secretary Powel "it was conveyed that India was
26 Dec 2008, 0448 hrs IST, Sibi Arasu, TNN prepared to join the humanitarian effort". Following the initial steps, a teleconference was held on Thursday
morning between US Under Secretary of State Marc Grossman, Australian Permanent Secretary Douglas
CHENNAI: "What use are our houses when it's a back-breaking struggle to earn our livelihood?" asks Mary, Chester, Director General of the Japanese Economic Cooperation Bureau and Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran.
who resides in house number 11,126 in the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) quarters in Kannagi The conference was initiated by Grossman, officials said. "The main purpose of the coordination effort is to
Nagar. It has been four years since that fateful day in December 2004, when the tsunami struck the Tamil Nadu avoid duplication of efforts, identify gaps in the relief process and find ways and means to address these
coast, killing people and destroying houses in numbers the like of which nobody had really seen before. Mary deficiencies," the MEA said.On Friday, a videoconference would be held between the Washington-based
had a home in Thidir Nagar, but post-tsunami she, like hundreds of others from Thidir Nagar, is an unhappy ambassadors of India, Australia and Japan with Grossman and UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan."This group
resident of Kannagi Nagar. With their livelihood depending on proximity to the employer's residence, the shift of four countries has agreed to work together closely with the UN and examine where the relief effort can best
to Kannagi Nagar has made it very difficult for the former Thidir Nagar residents. They now have to travel 15- be channelised through the UN," the MEA spokesman said in a statement. During the videoconference, foreign
20 kilometres everyday to Chennai, spending more than half their earnings on transportation alone. "All of us secretary Saran "acquainted the other members of the group with the relief and rescue efforts by India in Sri
continue to work in the same areas we went to before the tsunami. We cannot get a job close to our present Lanka and Maldives". India has already deployed almost half a dozen ships and several helicopters for rescue
houses as people regard the residents of Kannagi Nagar to be criminals," Stephen Raj, a resident of Kannagi and relief operations in Sri Lanka and Maldives."As far as the disaster in South India and Island territories is
Nagar told TOI. The former Thidir Nagar residents allege that even though they were given Rs 3,000 as relief, concerned, India is confident that we will be able to deal with the challenges with our own resources," India
they had to pay Rs 1,250 for the houses they were offered in Kannagi Nagar and, till recently, were paying a asserted yet again in a statement. India suggested that "international relief therefore could be directed where it is
monthly rent of Rs 250. Hospital facilities are absent in Kannagi Nagar and woman giving birth to children on most urgently required."
the streets is commonplace. The area has only four ration shops (PDS outlets) and seven anganwadis. After the
tragedy of epic proportions in 2004, the Tamil Nadu government, with NGO assistance, focussed on
rehabilitating the people affected on a top-priority basis. The settlement at Kannagi Nagar on the IT corridor is
one of the largest, home to more than 12,500 families, many of whom had earlier been living in the slums and
fishing hamlets dotting Chennai's seafront. The Kannagi Nagar quarters was originally constructed for
rehabilitating people displaced by the Mass Rapid Transport System (MRTS). Of the families residing here,
1,300 were shifted from Thidir Nagar, near Foreshore Estate. These people are engaged in allied fishing
activity, such as selling fish or transporting the daily catch. Many women work in homes as maids. "A major
flaw in the rehabilitation package is that private and government agencies who have interests in coastal slums
were attempting to shift people away from the slums and fishing hamlets. The area is a real estate hot spot' and
Quake before tsunami deflected even satellites
8 Aug 2006, 1951 hrs IST, KENNETH CHANG, AGENCIES Tsunami survivors turn waste managers
22 Sep 2008, 0559 hrs IST, D Madhavan , TNN
CALIFORNIA: The giant earthquake that set off a devastating tsunami across the Indian Ocean in December
2004 disrupted the earth enough to change gravity and to deflect satellites passing hundreds of miles above. CHENNAI: For four years after the tsunami washed away her home in December 2004, M Malar lived a hand-
Two identical satellites, collectively known as the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, or Grace, travel to-mouth existence. Now, the mother of three is set to begin a new life - as a permanent staff member of 'Green
one behind the other in a polar orbit separated by about 130 miles.By recording small changes in the distance Friends' at the new vermi-compost yard set up at Sholinganallur by the town panchayat on its premises. She and
between them when their orbits are deflected, the satellites provide data used to calculate variations in the 37 other tsunami survivors of Semmancherri along the IT Corridor will soon be in charge of the yard. The yard
earth's gravitational field. In a report in the current issue of the journal Science, scientists at Ohio State has come with the help of Hand-In-Hand (HIH), an NGO that runs 19 yards in Kancheepuram district with the
University and the University of California, Santa Barbara, report that in the aftermath of the magnitude 9.1 active involvement of the respective local bodies. Two years ago, Malar, originally a resident of Odaikuppam in
earthquake, the largest in four decades, Grace recorded a sudden drop in gravity near the quake's epicentre off Besant Nagar, was accommodated in one of the 6,700 quarters built by the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board
Sumatra. The rupture raised thousands of square miles of the seafloor, reducing the density of rocks in the for tsunami survivors in Semmancherri. But this was not enough for Malar. She had to feed her children and
earth's crust and diluting their gravitational pull. The data, combined with models of the earth's interior, indicate give them an education - she did several odd jobs, from working as a maid to hawking goods. Two months ago,
that the density changes extend hundreds of miles. there came another turn in her life. She and 37 other tsunami survivors of Semmancheri were offered a
"It really gives an insight of the earth's interior down to the mantle area," said Shin-Chan Han, an Ohio State permanent job by HIH in the new yard.
research scientist and an author of the Science paper. It was the first time that the gravitational effect of an A self-help group was formed to help them sustain their livelihood. "It is a second life for me. Now I can ensure
earthquake had been observed. The gravity at the earth's surface decreased by as much as about 0.0000015%, that my three children get a good education. I want to ensure at least one of them pursues edicine," Malar told
meaning that a 150-pound person would experience a weight loss of about one-25,000th of an ounce. In other The Times of India. Sholinganallur is the only one of the three tsunami-affected panchayats in the district to
places, where the force of the earthquake compressed rocks, gravity increased by a similar amount. The force of give permanent jobs to the survivors under the Rs 13.01 lakh Asian Development Bank-funded Tsunami
gravity is changing in other areas of the earth, too. In Hudson Bay, Canada, which was crushed downward by Emergency Assistance Programme. The new yard will daily handle kitchen waste from 10 wards of the
the weight of ice during the last ice age, the ground is still rebounding upward. That change in gravity adds panchayat - 2.5 tonnes from 4,927 houses and petty shops. The "Green Friends" will also keep the 82 streets
about one-400,000th of an ounce to the weight of a 150-pound person every year. clean. The yard has 20 concrete bins where different kinds of waste – organic, recyclable and inert materials -
will be handled. Each bin can handle 1.3 tonnes of waste. Every household will be given two bins for
biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste free. There is no user payment for the service. "The tsunami-
affected women were given free training on various aspects of solid waste management. From Monday, they
will take up mass cleaning in the allotted wards to educate the residents on the need to segregate biodegradable
'Aftershocks to continue, tsunami unlikely' and non-bio degradable wastes," Shiva T Krishnamoorthy, HIH project manager, told The Times Of India.
28 Dec 2004, 2328 hrs IST, Chandrika Mago, TNN Initially, the "Green Friends" will be paid for their services on a monthly basis. After an year, they will be in
charge and will have the responsibility of ensuring the project's sustainability. For a while, HIH will maintain
NEW DELHI: The Andamans could rock for six months to a year, and beyond. By late Tuesday morning, the the yard. The panchayat has provided infrastructure facilities - 16 tricycles, 10,000 bins and supporting staff.
number of aftershocks registering magnitudes of 5 and more had risen to 48. This will continue.
But another tsunami is unlikely. It is generally associated with quakes registering magnitudes of 7.5 or more. In
fact, the only tsunami acknowledged to have hit India's east coast was in 1883. The Met office has warned
people in the Andamans against entering, or occupying, damaged buildings. With conditions described as
moderate to rough in the seas along the mainland coast, it has also warned boats against venturing out for next
two days. But the trend indicates the magnitude of aftershocks is gradually coming down. The eight recorded
aftershocks till Tuesday morning ranged in magnitude from 5-5.8. It will take time for the Earth to adjust to the
undersea quake off the Sumatra coast on Sunday morning. There was a 1,000-km long rupture. Seismologists
say that between an earthquake of magnitude 6 and one nearing 9, like Sunday, the energy released would be
nearly 2,700 times more.Aftershocks can last up to a year or more. Seismologists cite the example of Assam
after a quake registering 8.6 hit in 1950. The aftershocks continued for two years. But this doesn't mean that
there is any increase in the frequency of earthquakes. "It's a seismically-active area but the trend does not
indicate this," said IMD director (seismology) R S Dattatrayam. H K Gupta, ocean development department
secretary, echoes him. "On a long-term basis, say over 50 years, there is no increase in seismicity," he says.
Gupta, who is now beginning the spadework for warning systems which may have to be put in place, says "the
only proven tsunami was in 1883". This was due to a volcanic explosion which resulted in metre-high tsunami
along parts of the east coast.
Mourning observed for tsunami-hit Aid begins to flow for the tsunami victims
12 Jan 2005, 1438 hrs IST, PTI 30 Dec 2004, 0045 hrs IST, TNN

CHENNAI: State-wide mourning was observed in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday to pay homage to the families of NEW DELHI: As the death toll in the tsunami-hit areas of south India and South East Asia rises, government
7968 victims who lost their lives in 13 coastal districts in the tsunami disaster on December 26, 2004, with flags bodies and NGOs have started pitching in to help the victims. UNICEF is procuring emergency items to various
in government buildings flying at half-mast. While the Governor, Surjit Singh Barnala and his staff at Raj relief camps and hospitals in Tamil Nadu. About 2,175 water storage tanks of 500 litres capacity each have
Bhavan observed two minutes' silence from 10.30 am, the state cabinet met in the secretariat to pay homage to been given to relief camps in Chengalpattu, Thirukalundram, Vilipuram, Kanyakumari, Nagapattinam,
the departed souls. Two minutes silence was observed from 10.10 am by the cabinet, headed by Jayalalithaa. Cuddalore and Pondicherry. About 300 water storage tanks are also being sent to Kerala. Clubs have paid
The cabinet also passed a condolence resolution, expressing deep sorrow and anguish, to the families of the homage to the victims of the tragedy by cancelling the New Year's celebrations. Parties at the Delhi Gymkhana
victims. The cabinet also resolved to handle the post-tsunami situation "with courage and determination", so Club and the Golf Club have also been called off. CARE, India's rapid assessment team reached Chennai on
that all the affected families were suitably rehabilitated. All schools, colleges, government offices and public December 27 to take stock of the situation. The team in cooperation with NGOs and the local government will
sector undertakings also observed two minutes' silence. Some of the private institutions also followed suit. try to rehabilitate the worst-affected 20,000 households in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Reaching out to the
distressed victims in the tsunami-affected states, employees of BHEL have made a contribution of Rs one crore
to the Prime Minister's national relief fund. They have also procured medicines, food packets, clothes and rice
for the victims. Similarly, the Bank of Baroda has made a contribution of Rs five crore to the PM's relief fund.
Tsunami: Made in Japan, in all languages As a humanitarian gesture, Havell's India ltd has announced a contribution of Rs 11 lakh to the PM relief fund
to help people affected by the devastating forces of nature.
26 Dec 2004, 2336 hrs IST, Ranjan Roy, TNN The food and supply department of Delhi in coordination with the Delhi state supplies corporation has made
arrangements for the supply of one thousand packets of food. The Church's Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA)
NEW DELHI: Along with bonsai and harakiri, tsunami (harbour wave) is perhaps the most well-known has announced an aid package of cooked food, drinking water and medicines valued at Rs 9.05 crore. Delhi's
Japanese word to have filtered into the English lexicon. But until Sunday morning's big one hit coastlines in lieutenant-governor, B L Joshi also made a plea to the citizens of the country at the annual general meeting of
south and South-East Asia, wrecking homes and destroying thousands of lives, few here had occasion to dwell the Delhi Red Cross Society to make contributions for the rehabilitation of victims. The JNU teacher's
on a tsunami's ferocity, much less to use the word in everyday parlance. The 'wall of water' that can challenge a association has also rendered help by appealing to its members to donate a day's salary to the relief fund. The
jet plane in speed, rival a tall building in height and pack enough force to destroy hundreds of miles of coastline consent forms for the same will be available in the centre/ school offices and with the JNUTA school
has emerged as a colourful figure of speech in contemporary English usage. But for the Japanese, who have representatives. Similarly, the Indian Association of Tour Operators(IATO) has appealed to its members to
lived with the threat of tsunamis from the Pacific — the area is known as the 'ring of fire' for being the world's donate to a fund it has created to render help to the victims. Delhi Pradesh Congress Commitee (DPCC)
most geologically active region — the word has been part of common parlance in art, poetry and literature. president Ram Babu Sharma has also appealed to the people of Delhi to try and abstain from the New Year's
Hokusai, the famous Japanese 18th century artist, depicted tsunamis in wood block prints, which were earlier celebrations and mourn for the thousands of lives lost in the tsunami-hit areas. Apart from this, DPCC has also
not as appreciated as the silk paintings that came from China, but later came to be enshrined as true art. set up a relief committee at its office to collect relief material from the citizens of the capital. Bearing Traders
Pronounced su-NAH-mee, the word is now used worldwide to describe any powerful current. Take the case of Association observed a two-minute silence on Wednesday in order to condole the death of the victims.
British premier Tony Blair, who is said to have faced a 'tsunami of criticism' in the London papers for his
handling of the sexed-up Iraq dossier scandal. Or the example of US president George W Bush who, according
to American political commentators, was swept into the Oval Office for a second term last November by a
'tsunami of conservatism', led by Republicans from middle America.
Tourism quakes after tsunami
28 Dec 2004, 0011 hrs IST, Manju V, TNN
MUMBAI: Will India achieve its target of three million tourists by December 31? A day after tsunamis
wrecked havoc, this seems doubtful, as sources in the Indian tourism industry fear a probable wave of
cancellations that may dampen the prospects of the year ending on a high note. At a time when countries like
China attract 34 million foreign tourists annually, and even geographically smaller destinations like Dubai and
Singapore get 5 million and 9 million tourists respectively, India had logged in a poor figure of 2.5 million last
year. This year, however, the country got more prominence on the global tourism radar as international tourist
figures went up and India jumped from the ninth to sixth position in UK's popular Conde Nast Traveller's list of
favoured destinations. "The tsunami has cast serious doubts on whether we will touch the 3 million figure. It's a
magical figure for a country which doesn't even have as many hotels as Shanghai has," says Abraham George,
secretary of Indian Association of Tour Operators.
4 yrs after tsunami, hunt on for kids
24 Dec 2008, 2300 hrs IST, B Aravind Kumar, TNN
CHENNAI: "I want to see her at least once,'' says Sergeant Ravi Shankar of the Indian Air Force, breaking
down. Sgt. Shankar, posted in New Delhi, is visiting Chennai in the hope that he may finally be reunited with
Sri Lanka tsunami toll nears 29,000 his daughter, Apurva Kumari, who, if alive, would be 12 years old today. Accompanied by his friend M
31 Dec 2004, 2313 hrs IST, PTI Venkataraman, Shankar has been to several temples across the country, showing his daughters photos to
strangers in the desperate hope that someone will help him track her. Venkataraman too is searching for his son,
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka observed a day of mourning on Friday for the victims of the Tsunami catastrophe with Arvind Srinivasan, who would be a teenager now. It is the eve of the fourth anniversary of the tsunami, which
national flags flying at half mast and traditional New Year festivities called off, as the body count mounted killed 1,20,000 in 12 countries in south east Asia on December 26, 2004. In India, the toll was estimated at
close to 29,000 in the island nation.White flags were put up on private homes, offices and vehicles while 10,805 dead and over 5,640 missing, of which children constituted a large percentage. Many like Apurva and
solemn music was played by radio and television channels. Sri Lanka tsunami fatalities rose to 28,475 while the Arvind remain untraced. In their case, their fathers are certain that the children, after being separated from the
number of missing people was close to 5,000, the President's office said. The Disaster Management Unit at the families, made it to a tsunami relief camp, from where they were abducted. The two children went missing
President's office said the number of people injured was 12,482, while those displaced by the calamity stood at when tsunami waves crashed into the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, sweeping away hundreds. Ravi Shankar
889,175. President Chandrika Kumaratunga said yesterday the toll in the deadly tsunami would cross 29,000 "in and Venkataraman, both sergeants, were posted at the Air Force Station, Car Nicobar Islands. Apurva was eight
the next few days" when most of the people still on the missing list would be declared dead. Meanwhile, rescue years old and Arvind 12, when the tidal waves hit the islands on December 26, 2004, submerging most of them
workers were still salvaging bodies and conducting mass funerals in a bid to clear up piles of decaying corpses. under water. Both men say they were able to hold on to a tree branch and float to safety. Ravi Shankar's wife
Newspaper reports said today that mobs of "human vultures" were preying on the relatives of the dead by clung to her one-year-old baby boy and managed to reach dry ground. But the baby had swallowed too much
demanding money for the removal of bodies. Corpses were also found with their ears and fingers cut off by sea water and died in her arms. Their daughter was missing. As for the Venkataramans, he managed to drag his
marauders making off with earrings and rings. "While the great majority of volunteers are driven by altruism wife out from a mass of dead bodies floating in the water. His daughter, 13, too managed to swim to safety, but
and are spending money and time to trace the dead and help the survivors, it is a crying shame that a handful of his son was not to be found. Four years after tsunami struck Andaman and Nicobar Islands, parents of Arvind
criminals are doing this to the dead," The Island newspaper quoted a military officer as saying. and Apurva still believe they are alive. The Indian Air Force sergeants, who were transferred to the Air Force
Station at Tambaram, went back to Port Blair a few months later and showed the photographs of their missing
children to relief workers. Some of them said they had seen children who resembled Arvind and Apurva on the
camps. "At least three women said they had seen my daughter,'' recalled Ravi Shankar. But there were no
further leads to go by; the crestfallen father had to return to work. As for Venkataraman, he read a report that
orphans from Andaman and Nicobar Islands were sent to Kolkata. Sensing hope, the sergeant and his in-laws
visited orphanages in the city, carrying photos of Arvind. The register of orphans in one of the camps run by the
Nirmala School, a welfare institution in Port Blair, even mentioned a boy named Arvind. One of the pastors
serving with a missionary in Kolkata said he had seen the boy in the camp in Port Blair. "We flew to Port Blair.
India's tsunami toll reaches 12,419 The authorities in the camp had apparently sent my son with two men, who claimed they were his uncles, but
29 Dec 2004, 1200 hrs IST, AGENCIES had no identity or even an address,'' said a shocked Venkataraman. Last year, Sivakami, a friend of his sister-in-
law, who left Andaman after the tsunami disaster to settle in Tamil Nadu, recalled meeting Arvind in one of the
NEW DELHI: India's toll of dead from this week's tsunami disaster rose to 12,419 on Wednesday, with at 4,642 relief camps, and in fact, had spotted the accompanying uncle as well. Venkataraman took her to a police station
of the dead in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, police said. Rescue workers pulled corpses from canals and in Puducherry, where his in-laws reside, and got the sketch of the uncle using computer generated graphics. He
water-logged fields as the government warned the death toll of almost 9,400 from tsunami that lashed the went back to Port Blair with the picture, but in vain. "A complaint of kidnap has been filed but Andaman police
country's south would rise further. The high number of missing means India's toll was likely to go much higher, slept on it,'' he says. After he petitioned the President, the Prime Minister and the home minister, the police
home minister Shivraj Patil said on Tuesday. made a few enquiries but the boy was nowhere to be found. With the governments and police force unwilling to
part with information on the investigation and unable to help, the frustrated fathers are now visiting temples and
astrologers, keeping their fingers tightly crossed and with undying hope in their heart. A keen study of videos
shot at the relief camps in Port Blair could open a door or two, pointed out Venkataraman. But they were denied
the tapes.
Coastal 'bio-shield' to protect against tsunami
21 Jan 2005, 1005 hrs IST, IANS
NEW DELHI: A 'bio-shield' formed by planting a vegetation belt along coastlines would protect India against
future coastal storms, cyclones and tsunamis, scientists here said. In a report on post-tsunami recommendations,
the Indian National Commission on Farmers said local communities could plant salt-tolerant trees like 3 yrs on, tsunami victims say promises not kept
casuarina, salicornia, and atriplex, and intersperse them with hybrid pigeon pea (cajanus cajan) as a pulse crop, 27 Dec 2007, 0433 hrs IST, TNN
according to science portal SciDev."The bio-shield movement will confer multiple benefits to local
communities as well as to the country as a whole," the report said. According to M.S. Swaminathan, head of CHENNAI: The fishing community in Tamil Nadu filled churches along the coast on Wednesday praying for
Chennai-based M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, the plantations could play a double role. While the loved ones they lost to the giant waves on Boxing Day in 2004. As much as reconstructing lives along the
absorbing the force of severe storms and tsunamis, the 'bio-shield' could act as a 'carbon sink' by absorbing shore was a difficult task, the government, NGOs and private organisations displayed commendable effort to
emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. In addition, mangroves would help fishing communities as put things together again. However, these efforts seems to have dwindled now and the victims say promises
fallen leaves release nutrients into the water, aiding many species of fish that live and breed among the above- have not been fulfiled. The state government has claimed that 43,100 houses have been constructed and 11,000
ground roots that remain submerged in the tide, he said. The 'bio-shield' idea is one among several short, dwellings repaired. Numerous schemes, including one last month for Rs 1,000 crore, have been announced. But
medium and long-term measures suggested by the commission to ease the distress of fishing and farming reports reaching from the districts indicate that the reality is different on the ground. "We had a lot of money
communities after the Dec 26 tsunamis devastated parts of India's east coast. Another key recommendation is to pouring in from various sources. NGOs and government organisations directly dealt with them. But how much
help local communities build artificial coral reefs, among which fish could shelter and breed. The commission of the benefit has reached the affected is a point of contention. Some of the people are unaware of the
said the government could promote community involvement in the conservation of mangroves and other coastal government schemes and most do not want to question the government for fear that they may be denied
wetlands, coral reefs, and marine biodiversity, through active participation in tree planting and community- whatever little they are getting," said P Antony Raj, a social worker in Nagercoil who worked with the tsunami
based management of natural resources. It said that scientists from the Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, victims in Kanyakumari district. In fact, many complain that most of the houses constructed for the victims
the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, and agricultural universities should survey areas where the have developed cracks and some have even collapsed in Kanyakumari. They have been built in a hurry, without
soil has become salty after being inundated with seawater. Earlier, a high-level meeting convened by the much consideration to infrastructure and sanitation, relief workers say. Some of the houses have been
ministry of environment and forests decided to assess the tsunami damage in two phases. The first phase, to be constructed in low-lying areas like Chennai's Kargil Nagar or Tsunami Nagar. In places like Nagapattinam the
completed by March, would comprise a scientific assessment based on satellite imagery, involving scientists houses are too small to accommodate a family. People are thus being forced to live in rented houses.
from the Space Application Centre, the Institute for Ocean Management, the Zoological Survey of India, and Compensation, or the lack of it, has become another sore point for the victims. Distribution of compensation is
the Botanical Survey of India. The second phase would identify ecological resources that are important to the still entangled in controversies and confusion, especially in Kanyakumari and Nagapattinam districts. The only
livelihoods of coastal communities, to assess the damage done to them and propose remedial measures. district where life seems to have returned to near normal is Cuddalore, which continues to showcase its quick
The detailed evaluation would lead to an action plan to restore the ecology and geology of the affected land. recovery after the tragedy. On the positive side, a number of self-help groups have mushroomed among women.
The National Commission of Farmers was set up in 2004 to work out a comprehensive medium-term strategy Independent of compensation and rehabilitation hassles, these groups are providing a means of livelihood to its
for food and nutrition security in India, propose methods to enhance the productivity of farming systems and members.
boost incomes and employment in rural areas.
3 yrs on, tsunami victims say promises not kept
27 Dec 2007, 0433 hrs IST, TNN
CHENNAI: The fishing community in Tamil Nadu filled churches along the coast on Wednesday praying for
the loved ones they lost to the giant waves on Boxing Day in 2004. As much as reconstructing lives along the
shore was a difficult task, the government, NGOs and private organisations displayed commendable effort to Several tsunami survivors still homeless
put things together again. However, these efforts seems to have dwindled now and the victims say promises 25 Dec 2006, 1426 hrs IST, PTI
have not been fulfiled. The state government has claimed that 43,100 houses have been constructed and 11,000
dwellings repaired. Numerous schemes, including one last month for Rs 1,000 crore, have been announced. But CHENNAI: Two years have passed since the tsunami disaster, but thousands of survivors are yet to return to
reports reaching from the districts indicate that the reality is different on the ground. "We had a lot of money their normal lives in coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, mainly due to the inordinate delay in allotment of permanent
pouring in from various sources. NGOs and government organisations directly dealt with them. But how much houses. Though the government and NGOs acted swiftly on various fronts in the aftermath of the December 26
of the benefit has reached the affected is a point of contention. Some of the people are unaware of the 2004 tragedy, progress had been slow with regard to rehabilitation, particularly in providing proper dwellings,
government schemes and most do not want to question the government for fear that they may be denied say survivors. According to official statistics, around 37,000 permanent houses for the survivors are yet to be
whatever little they are getting," said P Antony Raj, a social worker in Nagercoil who worked with the tsunami made in the state. In the worst-affected Nagapattinam district, construction work for 18,600 houses by the
victims in Kanyakumari district. In fact, many complain that most of the houses constructed for the victims government and various agencies started in March 2005, but only 6,168 of them have been handed over to the
have developed cracks and some have even collapsed in Kanyakumari. They have been built in a hurry, without beneficiaries. The situation is almost the same in adjacent Cuddalore district. Among 2,393 houses ordered for
much consideration to infrastructure and sanitation, relief workers say. Some of the houses have been construction by the Tamil Nadu government, only 1,703 have so far been completed. According to district
constructed in low-lying areas like Chennai's Kargil Nagar or Tsunami Nagar. In places like Nagapattinam the officials, site identification took a long time. And when sites were identified, survivors found them less
houses are too small to accommodate a family. People are thus being forced to live in rented houses. convenient and wanted them to be located elsewhere. Life in the temporary shelters has been 'painful' for the
Compensation, or the lack of it, has become another sore point for the victims. Distribution of compensation is survivors for the past two years. "They call these dwellings temporary shelters, but life in these dwellings has
still entangled in controversies and confusion, especially in Kanyakumari and Nagapattinam districts. The only caused permanent problems to our health," says Senthil of Tarangambadi in Nagapattinam district, where
district where life seems to have returned to near normal is Cuddalore, which continues to showcase its quick construction work started only a few months back. "Ever since we came to the shelters, we have been suffering
recovery after the tragedy. On the positive side, a number of self-help groups have mushroomed among women. from serious ailments. For the past few months, we have been hit by mysterious fevers. Hundreds of people
Independent of compensation and rehabilitation hassles, these groups are providing a means of livelihood to its have received treatment," says Kannan, another survivor. According to Selvi of Nagapattinam, mosquito bites,
members. poor sanitary conditions and heavy rains have wreaked havoc in their lives. Many people who have received
permanent shelters are not happy either. "The houses are too small. The bathrooms are too dingy. We feel as if
we are staying inside a jail complex," says another survivor Vailankanni.
DEVASTATATION CAPTURED
W
however, the waves may suddenly grow rapidly in height. When the waves

Tsunami reach the shore, they may be 15 m (50 ft) high or more. Tsunamis can
also take the form of a very fast tide or bore, depending on the shape of

I INTRODUCTION the sea floor.

Tsunami Disaster of 2004


One of the worst natural disasters in history occurred on December 26, 2004, when
an undersea earthquake off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra
generated a tsunami that swept across the Indian Ocean. The combined effects of
the tsunami and the earthquake killed more than 250,000 people.
© Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Tsunami, Japanese word meaning “harbor wave,” used as the scientific


term for a class of abnormal sea wave that can cause catastrophic damage
Tsunami
when it hits a coastline. Tsunamis can be generated by an undersea A tsunami is a very large sea wave that is generated by a disturbance along the
earthquake, an undersea landslide, the eruption of an undersea volcano, ocean floor. This disturbance can be an earthquake, a landslide, or a volcanic
eruption. A tsunami is undetectable far out in the ocean, but once it reaches shallow
or by the force of an asteroid crashing into the ocean. The most frequent
water, this fast-traveling wave grows very large.
cause of tsunamis is an undersea earthquake. When the ocean floor is © Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
uplifted or offset during an earthquake, a set of waves is created similar to
the concentric waves generated by an object dropped into the water. Most Tsunamis have tremendous force because of the great volume of water
tsunamis originate along the Ring of Fire, a zone of volcanoes and seismic affected and the speed at which they travel. Just a cubic yard of water, for
activity, 32,500 km (24,000 mi) long, which encircles the Pacific Ocean. example, weighs about one ton. Although the tsunami slows to a speed of
Since 1819, about 40 tsunamis have struck the Hawaiian Islands. about 48 km/h (30 mph) as it approaches a coastline, it has a destructive
force equal to millions of tons. Tsunamis are capable of obliterating coastal
A tsunami can have wavelengths, or widths (the distance between one settlements.
wave crest to the next), of 100 to 200 km (60 to 120 mi), and may travel
hundreds of kilometers across the deep ocean, reaching speeds of about
725 to 800 km/h (about 450 to 500 mph). A tsunami is not one wave but
a series of waves. In the deep ocean, the waves may be only about half a
meter (a foot or two) high. People onboard a ship passing over it would
not even notice the tsunami. Upon entering shallow coastal waters,
Since 1949 scientists have attempted to establish a reliable warning
system for tsunamis in the Pacific Ocean. That year the Pacific Tsunami
Warning Center was established in Ewa Beach, Hawaii. From 1949 to 2004,
the center issued warnings for all five of the major ocean-spanning
tsunamis that occurred in the Pacific Ocean. However, it also issued 15
false alarms in that period.

In 1965 the International Tsunami Information Center (ITIC) was


established by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The purpose of the ITIC, which is based in Honolulu, Hawaii, is to mitigate
the hazards posed by tsunamis by helping nations that rim the Pacific
Ocean prepare for a tsunami. Both the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center and
the ITIC are operated under the auspices of the United States National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NOAA also operates
the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, Washington, a
leading research center for the study and monitoring of tsunamis.
Tsunami Wave
A tsunami wave flows toward the shore after a small earthquake in the Sunda Strait
of Indonesia. Tsunamis are often mistakenly called tidal waves, but they are not
The Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory developed the first reliable
caused by the gravitational forces involved in tides. Instead, tsunamis are believed scientific instrument for detecting tsunamis and quickly alerting scientists
to be caused by a tilting of the ocean floor, undersea landslides, or undersea when a tsunami occurs. The instrument, known as a tsunameter, is
volcanic eruptions.
Dieter and Mary Plage/Oxford Scientific Films
anchored on the ocean floor and measures changes in water pressure
when a tsunami passes above. Six of these instruments are deployed in

Tsunamis should not be confused with storm surges, which are domes of the Pacific Ocean. When a tsunameter detects a tsunami, it sends acoustic

water that rise underneath hurricanes or cyclones and cause extensive signals to a buoy on the surface. The buoy converts the signals to radio

coastal flooding when the storms reach land. Storm surges are particularly waves and relays the data to an orbiting satellite, which then alerts several

devastating if they occur at high tide. A cyclone and accompanying storm warning centers, including the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa

surge killed an estimated 500,000 people in Bangladesh in 1970. Tsunamis Beach and the West Coast Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska. The

are sometimes called tidal waves, but they have nothing to do with the entire process takes only about two minutes. NOAA scientists then study

gravitational forces that cause tides. the signals to determine if a tsunami warning is necessary.

The early warning system is known as the Deep-ocean Assessment and


II TSUNAMI WARNINGS AND PREPARATION Reporting of Tsunamis (DART). In 2005 only the Pacific Ocean had a DART
system. Reliable early warning systems do not yet exist for other ocean
Tsunamis are rare and difficult to predict. Although scientists can rapidly basins. However, in late 2005 India’s Meteorological Department
detect an undersea earthquake through the use of seismometers, not all announced that it was using 11 tidal gauges and seismic monitors in the
undersea earthquakes will generate a tsunami. Other factors, such as the Indian Ocean to establish an interim warning system until a more
topography of the ocean floor at the epicenter of a quake, are involved. comprehensive system could be completed. Once a tsunami warning is
issued, people in the affected areas are warned to seek high ground
immediately and to stay away from coastlines until the alert has ended.

III MAJOR TSUNAMI DISASTERS

The worst tsunami disaster in history occurred in December 2004 when a


magnitude 9.0 undersea earthquake, centered in the Indian Ocean off the
northwestern coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, generated a
tsunami that struck the coasts of 14 countries from Southeast Asia to
northeastern Africa. The International Committee of the Red Cross
reported a death toll of more than 250,000 people as a result of the
tsunami and the earthquake, with nearly two-thirds of the deaths
occurring in Indonesia. High death tolls were also reported in India, Sri
Lanka, and Thailand. Geologists calculated that the ocean floor at the
epicenter was thrust upward 9 m (30 ft) as a result of the quake.

Previously the highest death toll from a tsunami was an estimated 60,000
people killed in 1755 when an earthquake generated a tsunami that struck
Tsunami Hits Thailand
coastal Portugal, Spain, and Morocco and destroyed the city of Lisbon,
Ocean water submerges coastal buildings on Thailand’s Phi Phi Island after the
Portugal. The last major tsunami to occur in the Indian Ocean happened in worst tsunami in history killed people in 14 countries rimming the Indian Ocean in
1883 with the eruption of Krakatau (also spelled Krakatoa). The resulting December 2004. The death toll reached more than 250,000 people. It far eclipsed
the death toll caused by the second worst tsunami, which destroyed Lisbon,
tsunami reached an estimated height of 30 m (100 ft), traveled 13,000 km
Portugal, in 1755 and killed 60,000 people.
(8,000 mi), and drowned about 34,000 people along the coasts of Java Lana Slivar/Reuters/Corbis
and Sumatra. Another 2,000 people were fatally burned by hot volcanic
ash. In North America the worst known tsunami occurred in 1964 when an
earthquake off the coast of Anchorage, Alaska, created a tsunami that
killed 115 people in Alaska, Oregon, and California. Scientists also believe
that a magnitude 9.0 quake occurred along the Cascadia fault off the coast
of Washington and Oregon in 1700 and generated a massive tsunami.
Scientists believe the quake and tsunami converted vast spruce tree
forests into saltwater tidal flats.
Current affairs
Electricity workers in southern India begin repairing the regions
devastated infrastructure.
Waiting in line
Photo: Gurinder Osan/AP
Tsunami survivors wait for milk at a relief camp in Kanniyakumari,
southern India.
Photo: Sucheta Das/Reuters

Welcome relief
A tsunami survivor drinks water at a relief camp in Port Blair, the
Andaman and Nicobar islands.
Photo: Manish Swarup/AP
The basics
A tsunami survivor selects from a pile of clothes in Nagapattinam,
southern India.
Photo: Amit Dave/Reuters

Doing their bit


Tsunami survivors collect driftwood in Nagattipatinam, southern
India.
Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty

Making ends meet


An Indian tsunami survivor looks for her belongings in
Nagapattinam, southern India.
Photo: Arko Datta/Reuters

All that's left Desperate for help


A mattress and pillow floats past destroyed houses in the fishing Displaced Indian survivors of the tsunami struggle for food aid in
village of Ban Nam Khaem, India. Nagapattinam.
Photo: Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Photo: Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty

Cremation
Volunteers cremate bodies in Nagapattinam.
Photo: Gurinder Osan/AP
Shocking scene
Volunteers arrive to help rescue operations at Nagapattinam.
Photo: Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty

Transport to safety
Villagers from Car Nicobar island are flown to Port Blair.
Photo: Deshakalyan Chowdhury/AFP/Getty

Under the rubble


Health workers remove a body from the debris of a house in Tamil
Nadu.
Photo: Gurinder Osan/AP

Rice aid
Women reach out for packets of rice from a relief van in a village
near Cuddalore, 185km southwest of Madras.
Photo: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty

Removing debris
A crane removes a fishing trawler from a road at Nagapattinam port.
Photo: Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty