Tsunmi Scrap Book

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SCRAP BOOK TSUNAMI DEC 2004Tsunamis hit South India, over 3,000 killed 26 Dec 2004, 1535 hrs IST, TIMES NEWS NETWORK & AGENCIESNEW DELHI: Imagine going for a morning walk along the sea as you do every morning. The sea is a Pacific influence and you perhaps dip your toe in the water. But before you realise whats happening, you are caught in one of the worst natural calamities in living memory. For hundreds in Chennais Marina Beach on Sunday morning, it was nightmarishly like this. For thousands of fisherfolk, who had gone like every morning into the sea, it was again the same story suddenly being caught in a phenomenon, tsunami, which struck India for the first time in recorded history. The country was still coming to grips with the nature and scale of the disaster. The toll, according to the government, was 2,000 and rising, but other estimates put the toll at over 3,000. And theres no news yet of 45,000 people in Car Nicobar and Greater Nicobar where a quake of 7.5 magnitude hit early in the morning. The trigger for the tsunami a destructive wave train created by an undersea disturbance was an 8.9 magnitude earthquake, just off the northern tip of Indonesia's Sumatra island. There were a series of aftershocks, creating mammoth waves that hit coastal Tamil Nadu, where the toll was the 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. The airport at Port Blair was damaged too, but a couple of flights took off later with fleeing tourists. Many more are still stranded. 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 pilgrims, including SC Judge GP Mathur, were left stranded on Vivekananda Rock near Kanyakumari. Hundreds of fishermen were missing and Chennai was inundated by what witnesses called six-metre-high waves. The Kalpakkam nuclear power also reported an influx of sea water, but officials said it was "fully safe". 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. The Navy had been asked to send some ships to Car Nicobar and other tiny Islands to make an assessment of the damages to the life and property. Hundreds of pilgrims were also stranded at the Vivekanda rock in Kaynakumari who were being supplied food packets till ships reached to rescued them. fishermen all over the 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 number of deaths. Waves of fury and destruction lashed the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, washing away over 2,500 people, leaving an equal number untraceable. After an aerial survey in the evening, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa put the figure at 1567 and announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 1 lakh to the families of each of the victims. Thousands of crores of assets have been lost. Giant waves crashed in and water flowed into areas close to the sea, inundating many places and washing away 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 almost 30-40 feet into the city roads. Cars and boats were thrown aside by the gushing tidal waves.

Tsunami caught the govt napping 26 Dec 2004, 2345 hrs IST, TNNNEW 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 be taken. The lack of knowledge on tsunami is to be blamed, says the government. "This is the first time tsunami waves have hit the Indian coast. It is a new phenomenon for us... You can't predict them," said Union home secretary Dhirendra Singh. 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 couldn't tell the time, the location and the intensity." 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 Sumatra triggered the huge tidal waves.

TN battered: Over 2,500 dead, thousands missing 26 Dec 2004, 2227 hrs IST, TNNCHENNAI: It seemed a calm morning around 6.30 am. But joggers on Marina beach in Chennai, pilgrims at 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 26 Dec 2004, 2355 hrs IST, TNNNEW DELHI: For early morning pilgrims, bathers, joggers and tourists in the balmy climes of southern India and Southeast Asia, Boxing Day could hardly have been more devastating or more unexpected. For the 500 tourists who were left stranded on the Vivekananda rock memorial at Kanyakumari, the spectacle of the angry seas was even more fearful because there were no boats to ferry them back to the mainland after huge waves struck the coastal area in the aftermath of the tremor on Sunday morning. By evening Supreme Court judge G P Mathur and his wife were among the first tobe evacuated by a helicopter from the memorial. Local fishermen, however, showed tremendous courage to launch rescue efforts on their 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. 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, 0117 hrs IST, PTIPONDICHERRY: 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. After an aerial survey of the worst affected Karaikal region, Rangasamy told reporters that 211 people were killed in Karaikal and 69 in Pondicherry. The Chief Minister announced an For those injured in the disaster, the administration would provide Rs 5000. To enable the homeless to reconstruct houses, a sum of Rs 10,000 would be made available immediately. Earlier, the Lt Governor told newsmen on return from Karaikal at Rajnivas that the administration was undertaking rescue and relief operations in cooperation with Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard. The wave train that chugs in death and destruction 27 Dec 2004, 0209 hrs IST

Dream holidays that turned into a disaster 27 Dec 2004, 0220 hrs IST, TNNNEW DELHI: Parts of Southeast Asia that bore the brunt of the killer tsunami happens to be one of the mostpopular 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. Four South African tourists are officially missing in Thailand, while European tourists were badly hit in the low-lying Maldives. 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 British travel agency official said in London. However, the UK Foreign Office said no British tourists are reported missing. The French and German foreign ministries have set up crisis cells to deal with the catastrophe. Germany's TUI said it was in the process df gathering information on how many German tourists were in the area, but a spokesman said communication was extremely difficult. More than 5,000 Italian travellers were in the region, most of them in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Italian travel agencies said.

45,000 Nicobar inhabitants cut off from mainland 26 Dec 2004, 2357 hrs IST, Rajat Pandit , TNN NEW DELHI: The fate of around 45,000 people the entire population living in the stretch between Car Nicobar and Great Nicobar islands remained unknown till late on Sunday. With communication lines to several islands in that stretch of the Andaman and Nicobar archipalego, senior government officials were keeping their fingers crossed. Though a more powerful earthquake occurred near the west coast of Sumatra in the early hours of Sunday, a second one measuring 7.3 on the Richter Scale had its epicentre near Indira Point (southernmost tip of Indian 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 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." 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 tsunami. The seaport was also damaged, upsetting maritime operations as well. However, later in the day, three of IAF's AN-32 aircraft managed to land at the airport after temporary repairs, while two Jet Airways and an Indian Airlines flight also managed to take off. The Navy also despatched six ships from Port Blair for relief operations in the Car Nicobar and Campbell Bay areas. "A large landing ship, INS Gariyal, returning from an exercise, was diverted for relief operations in Car Nicobar," said an officer.

Tales of trauma 27 Dec 2004, 0226 hrs IST"The weather was fine with no clouds. There was no warning and suddenly the seawater just hit the city. In some parts it rose upto the chest level." Bustami, a resident of Lhokseumawe in Indonesia. "As I was standing there, a car actually floated into the lobby and overturned because the current was so strong. When I got close to the beach I heard more screaming and suddenly I saw this huge wave, taller than the palm trees, coming to crash down on us. It was unbelievable." Carlsson, who works at a beachside hotel in Phuket. "Then there was this one almighty surge. I mean literally this was the one which was picking up pickup trucks 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 27 Dec 2004, 0254 hrs IST, PTIPORT BLAIR: At least 1,000 people were feared killed and over 200 injured in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. "The situation is very grim. The death toll will go up to at least 1,000," said SB Deol, Inspector General of Police, after a high level meeting. Deol said the Lt Governor has visited Car Nicobar, which bore the brunt of nature's fury. Relief operations are on in full swing with helicopters making a number of sorties during the day. Navy and Coast Guard Dornier aircraft will be pressed into operation to airdrop rations on Monday.

Tidal tandava over, it's time to take toll 28 Dec 2004, 0005 hrs IST, TS Sreenivasa Raghavan, TNNVELANKANNI: In Velankanni, now only the ghosts walk. It is inhabited by a pile of bodies mounting on the shore which the tsunami swallowed on Sunday. The living are like spectres, haunted faces searching for familiar visages among the bloated corpses.Heavy rain on Monday compounded Sunday's devastation. The beach and road leading to the church were scattered with washed-up bodies, the continuing aftermath of the 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 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.

Toll reaches 2500 in TN 27 Dec 2004, 0830 hrs IST, PTICHENNAI: With relief and rescue works in full swing throughout the night, the number of deaths in the devastating tragedy wrought by earthquake and tidal waves in Tamil Nadu has touched nearly 2500. Police and official sources said that in Nagapattinam alone, more than 1,700 have been perished, including 250 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.

Nuclear scientist among Tsunami victims 27 Dec 2004, 1424 hrs IST, PTICHENNAI: Nuclear scientist Dr A Selvaraj, who was attached to the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) at Kalpakkam, was among those killed in the Tsunami tidal waves which struck the coastline in the area. Atomic energy sources said the body of Selvaraj had been identified. When asked if any more employees of IGCAR had been affected, the sources said over phone from Mumbai that due to disruption in telecommunication lines, details were not available. Meanwhile police sources said the toll in Kalpakkam area was nearly 60 with an unspecified number missing.

Tidal tandava over, it's time to take toll 28 Dec 2004, 0005 hrs IST, TS Sreenivasa Raghavan, TNNVELANKANNI: In Velankanni, now only the ghosts walk. It is inhabited by a pile of bodies mounting on the shore which the tsunami swallowed on Sunday. The living are like spectres, haunted faces searching for familiar visages among the bloated corpses. Heavy rain on Monday compounded Sunday's devastation. The beach and road leading to the church were scattered with washed-up bodies, the continuing aftermath of the 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 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 28 Dec 2004, 2240 hrs IST, AGENCIESBANDA ACEH: The biggest humanitarian relief operation ever mounted was underway on Tuesday along Asias devastated shores as the overall death toll from a massive earthquake and the tidal waves it unleashed approached 40,000, amid fears it could rise much higher.The fear that outbreaks of disease could unleash a second wave of tragedy on a region struggling to cope with the first also loomed large with decomposing bodies and sewerage contaminating water sources.In some areas food and medicines were in desperately short supply. Indonesias vice-president Yusuf Kalla, who is in charge of coordinating relief efforts, said he estimated that "21,000 to 25,000 people had been killed in Sundays disaster.

Indonesian tsunami death toll hits 441 18 Jul 2006, 2023 hrs IST, APPANGANDARAN, INDONESIA: Tearful parents searched for missing children as soldiers pulled corpse after corpse from the debris of homes flattened by the second tsunami to hit Indonesia in two years. More than 340 people died, officials said, with another 229 missing. Bodies covered in white sheets piled up at makeshift morgues or laid under the blazing sun on a beach popular with local and foreign tourists. "I don't mind losing any of my property, but please God, return my son," said a villager who gave the name Basril, as he and his wife searched though mounds of rubble at the once idyllic Pangandaran resort. The magnitude 7.7 undersea quake on Monday triggered the two-meter high wall of water that crashed into a 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 counting casualties. At the area's main emergency center, the Banjar Public Hospital, doctors and nurses 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 loved ones. Among the handful of foreign patients was Saudi Arabian Hamed Abukhamiss, 40, who lost his wife and his son, 4. Enormous waves had separated the family during an afternoon of surfing, shopping and eating at a waterfront cafe. Abukhamiss, who suffered minor injuries, said he told himself "I'm not going to give up,'' as he was repeatedly sucked under the swirling water and battered by debris. "I'm not going to die.'' His other son, Yousif, 12, saw the wave approaching with a pair of binoculars, but no one believed him when he yelled "tsunami!" Indonesia was hardest hit by a 2004 tsunami that killed at least 216,000 people in a dozen Indian Ocean nations. More than a half the dead were in Sumatra island's Aceh province. Though the country started to install an early warning system after that disaster, it is still in the early stages, covering only Sumatra. The government had 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.

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2004 Indian Ocean tsunami biggest in 600 years: Study 30 Oct 2008, 1000 hrs IST, APNEW YORK: The tsunami that killed 230,000 people in 2004 was the biggest in the Indian Ocean in some 600 years, two new geological studies suggest. That long gap might explain how enough geological stress built up to power the huge undersea earthquake that launched the killer waves four years ago, researchers said. The work appears in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature. Two research teams report that by digging pits and taking core samples in Thailand and northern Sumatra, they found evidence that the last comparably large tsunami struck between the years 1300 and 1400. The researchers found deposits of sand that were apparently left by the waves, and estimated their age with carbon dating of associated plant debris. The December 2004 disaster killed people in 14 countries. Waves more than 100 feet high struck northern Sumatra and deposited sand more than a mile inland, researchers said. In Thailand, the waves also ran more than a mile inland, leaving deposits of sand some 2 inches to 8 inches (5 centimetres to 20 centimetres) thick.

Govt withdraws tsunami alert 12 Sep 2007, 2237 hrs IST, PTINEW 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 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 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.

India unveils tsunami warning system 15 Oct 2007, 1257 hrs IST, PTIHYDERABAD: 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. "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 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 Centre will generate and give timely advisories to the Ministry of Home Affairs for dissemination to the public for which a satellite-based virtual private network for disaster management support has been established. This network enables early warning centre to disseminate warnings to the MHA, as well as to the state emergency operations centres.

'Country's best tsunami warning system in Indian Ocean' 28 Jan 2009, 2048 hrs IST, TNNSURATHKAL (DK): "We have developed the best tsunami early warning system, making it possible alert people, well before it hits the Indian coastline," said P G Diwakar, head of the regional remote sensing service centre (RRSSC), ISRO, Bangalore. He was delivering a lecture on space technology for ocean and coastal applications, as part of the two-week long AICTE-MHRD sponsored winter school, at the department of 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.

India unveils tsunami warning system 15 Oct 2007, 1257 hrs IST, PTIHYDERABAD: 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. "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 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 Centre will generate and give timely advisories to the Ministry of Home Affairs for dissemination to the public for which a satellite-based virtual private network for disaster management support has been established. This network enables early warning centre to disseminate warnings to the MHA, as well as to the state emergency operations centres.

the tsunami, unfortunately, gave them the perfect opportunity to rid the area of people," says Vanessa Peters, Forum for Securing Land and Livelihood Rights of the Coastal Community (FLLRC). 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 Kannagi Nagar, we allotted the lot to them. It is true that living far away from the city poses problems to the livelihood of these people. A possible solution is the people looking for jobs in Kannagi Nagar itself," he says.

India joins four-nation group for tsunami relief 30 Dec 2004, 1623 hrs IST, Josy Joseph, INDIATIMES NEWS NETWORKNEW DELHI: India, Australia, United States and Japan have begun high level consultations to form a coordination group to deal with the relief operations for the tsunami affected, even as India asserted yet again that it doesnt require international assistance to deal with the tsunami destruction. The four countries are also 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 capabilities and resources that these countries have to effect relief in areas worst affected by the tsunami disaster," an MEA statement said. To President Bush and secretary Powel "it was conveyed that India was 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 Chester, Director General of the Japanese Economic Cooperation Bureau and Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran. The conference was initiated by Grossman, officials said. "The main purpose of the coordination effort is to avoid duplication of efforts, identify gaps in the relief process and find ways and means to address these deficiencies," the MEA said.On Friday, a videoconference would be held between the Washington-based ambassadors of India, Australia and Japan with Grossman and UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan."This group of four countries has agreed to work together closely with the UN and examine where the relief effort can best be channelised through the UN," the MEA spokesman said in a statement. During the videoconference, foreign secretary Saran "acquainted the other members of the group with the relief and rescue efforts by India in Sri Lanka and Maldives". India has already deployed almost half a dozen ships and several helicopters for rescue and relief operations in Sri Lanka and Maldives."As far as the disaster in South India and Island territories is concerned, India is confident that we will be able to deal with the challenges with our own resources," India asserted yet again in a statement. India suggested that "international relief therefore could be directed where it is most urgently required."

For displaced tsunami victims in Kannagi Nagar, it's a hand-to-mouth existence 26 Dec 2008, 0448 hrs IST, Sibi Arasu, TNNCHENNAI: "What use are our houses when it's a back-breaking struggle to earn our livelihood?" asks Mary, who resides in house number 11,126 in the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) quarters in Kannagi Nagar. It has been four years since that fateful day in December 2004, when the tsunami struck the Tamil Nadu coast, killing people and destroying houses in numbers the like of which nobody had really seen before. Mary had a home in Thidir Nagar, but post-tsunami she, like hundreds of others from Thidir Nagar, is an unhappy resident of Kannagi Nagar. With their livelihood depending on proximity to the employer's residence, the shift to Kannagi Nagar has made it very difficult for the former Thidir Nagar residents. They now have to travel 1520 kilometres everyday to Chennai, spending more than half their earnings on transportation alone. "All of us continue to work in the same areas we went to before the tsunami. We cannot get a job close to our present houses as people regard the residents of Kannagi Nagar to be criminals," Stephen Raj, a resident of Kannagi Nagar told TOI. The former Thidir Nagar residents allege that even though they were given Rs 3,000 as relief, they had to pay Rs 1,250 for the houses they were offered in Kannagi Nagar and, till recently, were paying a monthly rent of Rs 250. Hospital facilities are absent in Kannagi Nagar and woman giving birth to children on 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, AGENCIESCALIFORNIA: 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. Two identical satellites, collectively known as the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, or Grace, travel one behind the other in a polar orbit separated by about 130 miles.By recording small changes in the distance between them when their orbits are deflected, the satellites provide data used to calculate variations in the earth's gravitational field. In a report in the current issue of the journal Science, scientists at Ohio State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara, report that in the aftermath of the magnitude 9.1 earthquake, the largest in four decades, Grace recorded a sudden drop in gravity near the quake's epicentre off Sumatra. The rupture raised thousands of square miles of the seafloor, reducing the density of rocks in the earth's crust and diluting their gravitational pull. The data, combined with models of the earth's interior, indicate that the density changes extend hundreds of miles. "It really gives an insight of the earth's interior down to the mantle area," said Shin-Chan Han, an Ohio State research scientist and an author of the Science paper. It was the first time that the gravitational effect of an earthquake had been observed. The gravity at the earth's surface decreased by as much as about 0.0000015%, meaning that a 150-pound person would experience a weight loss of about one-25,000th of an ounce. In other places, where the force of the earthquake compressed rocks, gravity increased by a similar amount. The force of gravity is changing in other areas of the earth, too. In Hudson Bay, Canada, which was crushed downward by the weight of ice during the last ice age, the ground is still rebounding upward. That change in gravity adds about one-400,000th of an ounce to the weight of a 150-pound person every year.

Tsunami survivors turn waste managers 22 Sep 2008, 0559 hrs IST, D Madhavan , TNNCHENNAI: For four years after the tsunami washed away her home in December 2004, M Malar lived a handto-mouth existence. Now, the mother of three is set to begin a new life - as a permanent staff member of 'Green Friends' at the new vermi-compost yard set up at Sholinganallur by the town panchayat on its premises. She and 37 other tsunami survivors of Semmancherri along the IT Corridor will soon be in charge of the yard. The yard has come with the help of Hand-In-Hand (HIH), an NGO that runs 19 yards in Kancheepuram district with the active involvement of the respective local bodies. Two years ago, Malar, originally a resident of Odaikuppam in Besant Nagar, was accommodated in one of the 6,700 quarters built by the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board for tsunami survivors in Semmancherri. But this was not enough for Malar. She had to feed her children and give them an education - she did several odd jobs, from working as a maid to hawking goods. Two months ago, there came another turn in her life. She and 37 other tsunami survivors of Semmancheri were offered a permanent job by HIH in the new yard. A self-help group was formed to help them sustain their livelihood. "It is a second life for me. Now I can ensure that my three children get a good education. I want to ensure at least one of them pursues edicine," Malar told The Times of India. Sholinganallur is the only one of the three tsunami-affected panchayats in the district to give permanent jobs to the survivors under the Rs 13.01 lakh Asian Development Bank-funded Tsunami Emergency Assistance Programme. The new yard will daily handle kitchen waste from 10 wards of the panchayat - 2.5 tonnes from 4,927 houses and petty shops. The "Green Friends" will also keep the 82 streets 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 tsunamiaffected 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 and non-bio degradable wastes," Shiva T Krishnamoorthy, HIH project manager, told The Times Of India. 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 the yard. The panchayat has provided infrastructure facilities - 16 tricycles, 10,000 bins and supporting staff.

'Aftershocks to continue, tsunami unlikely' 28 Dec 2004, 2328 hrs IST, Chandrika Mago, TNNNEW DELHI: The Andamans could rock for six months to a year, and beyond. By late Tuesday morning, the 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 12 Jan 2005, 1438 hrs IST, PTICHENNAI: State-wide mourning was observed in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday to pay homage to the families of 7968 victims who lost their lives in 13 coastal districts in the tsunami disaster on December 26, 2004, with flags in government buildings flying at half-mast. While the Governor, Surjit Singh Barnala and his staff at Raj Bhavan observed two minutes' silence from 10.30 am, the state cabinet met in the secretariat to pay homage to the departed souls. Two minutes silence was observed from 10.10 am by the cabinet, headed by Jayalalithaa. The cabinet also passed a condolence resolution, expressing deep sorrow and anguish, to the families of the victims. The cabinet also resolved to handle the post-tsunami situation "with courage and determination", so that all the affected families were suitably rehabilitated. All schools, colleges, government offices and public sector undertakings also observed two minutes' silence. Some of the private institutions also followed suit.

Aid begins to flow for the tsunami victims 30 Dec 2004, 0045 hrs IST, TNNNEW DELHI: As the death toll in the tsunami-hit areas of south India and South East Asia rises, government bodies and NGOs have started pitching in to help the victims. UNICEF is procuring emergency items to various relief camps and hospitals in Tamil Nadu. About 2,175 water storage tanks of 500 litres capacity each have been given to relief camps in Chengalpattu, Thirukalundram, Vilipuram, Kanyakumari, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore and Pondicherry. About 300 water storage tanks are also being sent to Kerala. Clubs have paid homage to the victims of the tragedy by cancelling the New Year's celebrations. Parties at the Delhi Gymkhana Club and the Golf Club have also been called off. CARE, India's rapid assessment team reached Chennai on December 27 to take stock of the situation. The team in cooperation with NGOs and the local government will 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. 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. 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) has announced an aid package of cooked food, drinking water and medicines valued at Rs 9.05 crore. Delhi's lieutenant-governor, B L Joshi also made a plea to the citizens of the country at the annual general meeting of the Delhi Red Cross Society to make contributions for the rehabilitation of victims. The JNU teacher's association has also rendered help by appealing to its members to donate a day's salary to the relief fund. The consent forms for the same will be available in the centre/ school offices and with the JNUTA school representatives. Similarly, the Indian Association of Tour Operators(IATO) has appealed to its members to donate to a fund it has created to render help to the victims. Delhi Pradesh Congress Commitee (DPCC) president Ram Babu Sharma has also appealed to the people of Delhi to try and abstain from the New Year's celebrations and mourn for the thousands of lives lost in the tsunami-hit areas. Apart from this, DPCC has also set up a relief committee at its office to collect relief material from the citizens of the capital. Bearing Traders Association observed a two-minute silence on Wednesday in order to condole the death of the victims.

Tsunami: Made in Japan, in all languages 26 Dec 2004, 2336 hrs IST, Ranjan Roy, TNNNEW DELHI: Along with bonsai and harakiri, tsunami (harbour wave) is perhaps the most well-known Japanese word to have filtered into the English lexicon. But until Sunday morning's big one hit coastlines in south and South-East Asia, wrecking homes and destroying thousands of lives, few here had occasion to dwell on a tsunami's ferocity, much less to use the word in everyday parlance. The 'wall of water' that can challenge a jet plane in speed, rival a tall building in height and pack enough force to destroy hundreds of miles of coastline has emerged as a colourful figure of speech in contemporary English usage. But for the Japanese, who have lived with the threat of tsunamis from the Pacific the area is known as the 'ring of fire' for being the world's most geologically active region the word has been part of common parlance in art, poetry and literature. Hokusai, the famous Japanese 18th century artist, depicted tsunamis in wood block prints, which were earlier not as appreciated as the silk paintings that came from China, but later came to be enshrined as true art. Pronounced su-NAH-mee, the word is now used worldwide to describe any powerful current. Take the case of 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, TNNMUMBAI: 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 Sri Lanka tsunami toll nears 29,000 31 Dec 2004, 2313 hrs IST, PTICOLOMBO: Sri Lanka observed a day of mourning on Friday for the victims of the Tsunami catastrophe with national flags flying at half mast and traditional New Year festivities called off, as the body count mounted close to 29,000 in the island nation.White flags were put up on private homes, offices and vehicles while solemn music was played by radio and television channels. Sri Lanka tsunami fatalities rose to 28,475 while the number of missing people was close to 5,000, the President's office said. The Disaster Management Unit at the President's office said the number of people injured was 12,482, while those displaced by the calamity stood at 889,175. President Chandrika Kumaratunga said yesterday the toll in the deadly tsunami would cross 29,000 "in the next few days" when most of the people still on the missing list would be declared dead. Meanwhile, rescue workers were still salvaging bodies and conducting mass funerals in a bid to clear up piles of decaying corpses. Newspaper reports said today that mobs of "human vultures" were preying on the relatives of the dead by demanding money for the removal of bodies. Corpses were also found with their ears and fingers cut off by marauders making off with earrings and rings. "While the great majority of volunteers are driven by altruism and are spending money and time to trace the dead and help the survivors, it is a crying shame that a handful of criminals are doing this to the dead," The Island newspaper quoted a military officer as saying. 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 his daughter, Apurva Kumari, who, if alive, would be 12 years old today. Accompanied by his friend M 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, Arvind Srinivasan, who would be a teenager now. It is the eve of the fourth anniversary of the tsunami, which killed 1,20,000 in 12 countries in south east Asia on December 26, 2004. In India, the toll was estimated at 10,805 dead and over 5,640 missing, of which children constituted a large percentage. Many like Apurva and Arvind remain untraced. In their case, their fathers are certain that the children, after being separated from the families, made it to a tsunami relief camp, from where they were abducted. The two children went missing when tsunami waves crashed into the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, sweeping away hundreds. Ravi Shankar and Venkataraman, both sergeants, were posted at the Air Force Station, Car Nicobar Islands. Apurva was eight years old and Arvind 12, when the tidal waves hit the islands on December 26, 2004, submerging most of them under water. Both men say they were able to hold on to a tree branch and float to safety. Ravi Shankar's wife clung to her one-year-old baby boy and managed to reach dry ground. But the baby had swallowed too much sea water and died in her arms. Their daughter was missing. As for the Venkataramans, he managed to drag his wife out from a mass of dead bodies floating in the water. His daughter, 13, too managed to swim to safety, but his son was not to be found. Four years after tsunami struck Andaman and Nicobar Islands, parents of Arvind 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. The authorities in the camp had apparently sent my son with two men, who claimed they were his uncles, but had no identity or even an address,'' said a shocked Venkataraman. Last year, Sivakami, a friend of his sister-inlaw, who left Andaman after the tsunami disaster to settle in Tamil Nadu, recalled meeting Arvind in one of the relief camps, and in fact, had spotted the accompanying uncle as well. Venkataraman took her to a police station in Puducherry, where his in-laws reside, and got the sketch of the uncle using computer generated graphics. He went back to Port Blair with the picture, but in vain. "A complaint of kidnap has been filed but Andaman police slept on it,'' he says. After he petitioned the President, the Prime Minister and the home minister, the police 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.

India's tsunami toll reaches 12,419 29 Dec 2004, 1200 hrs IST, AGENCIESNEW DELHI: India's toll of dead from this week's tsunami disaster rose to 12,419 on Wednesday, with at 4,642 of the dead in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, police said. Rescue workers pulled corpses from canals and water-logged fields as the government warned the death toll of almost 9,400 from tsunami that lashed the country's south would rise further. The high number of missing means India's toll was likely to go much higher, home minister Shivraj Patil said on Tuesday.

Coastal 'bio-shield' to protect against tsunami 21 Jan 2005, 1005 hrs IST, IANSNEW 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 casuarina, salicornia, and atriplex, and intersperse them with hybrid pigeon pea (cajanus cajan) as a pulse crop, 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-based M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, the plantations could play a double role. While absorbing the force of severe storms and tsunamis, the 'bio-shield' could act as a 'carbon sink' by absorbing emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. In addition, mangroves would help fishing communities as fallen leaves release nutrients into the water, aiding many species of fish that live and breed among the aboveground roots that remain submerged in the tide, he said. The 'bio-shield' idea is one among several short, medium and long-term measures suggested by the commission to ease the distress of fishing and farming communities after the Dec 26 tsunamis devastated parts of India's east coast. Another key recommendation is to help local communities build artificial coral reefs, among which fish could shelter and breed. The commission said the government could promote community involvement in the conservation of mangroves and other coastal wetlands, coral reefs, and marine biodiversity, through active participation in tree planting and communitybased management of natural resources. It said that scientists from the Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, and agricultural universities should survey areas where the soil has become salty after being inundated with seawater. Earlier, a high-level meeting convened by the ministry of environment and forests decided to assess the tsunami damage in two phases. The first phase, to be completed by March, would comprise a scientific assessment based on satellite imagery, involving scientists from the Space Application Centre, the Institute for Ocean Management, the Zoological Survey of India, and the Botanical Survey of India. The second phase would identify ecological resources that are important to the livelihoods of coastal communities, to assess the damage done to them and propose remedial measures. The detailed evaluation would lead to an action plan to restore the ecology and geology of the affected land. The National Commission of Farmers was set up in 2004 to work out a comprehensive medium-term strategy for food and nutrition security in India, propose methods to enhance the productivity of farming systems and boost incomes and employment in rural areas.

3 yrs on, tsunami victims say promises not kept 27 Dec 2007, 0433 hrs IST, TNNCHENNAI: 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 put things together again. However, these efforts seems to have dwindled now and the victims say promises 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 reports reaching from the districts indicate that the reality is different on the ground. "We had a lot of money pouring in from various sources. NGOs and government organisations directly dealt with them. But how much of the benefit has reached the affected is a point of contention. Some of the people are unaware of the government schemes and most do not want to question the government for fear that they may be denied whatever little they are getting," said P Antony Raj, a social worker in Nagercoil who worked with the tsunami victims in Kanyakumari district. In fact, many complain that most of the houses constructed for the victims have developed cracks and some have even collapsed in Kanyakumari. They have been built in a hurry, without much consideration to infrastructure and sanitation, relief workers say. Some of the houses have been constructed in low-lying areas like Chennai's Kargil Nagar or Tsunami Nagar. In places like Nagapattinam the houses are too small to accommodate a family. People are thus being forced to live in rented houses. Compensation, or the lack of it, has become another sore point for the victims. Distribution of compensation is still entangled in controversies and confusion, especially in Kanyakumari and Nagapattinam districts. The only district where life seems to have returned to near normal is Cuddalore, which continues to showcase its quick recovery after the tragedy. On the positive side, a number of self-help groups have mushroomed among women. Independent of compensation and rehabilitation hassles, these groups are providing a means of livelihood to its members.

3 yrs on, tsunami victims say promises not kept 27 Dec 2007, 0433 hrs IST, TNNCHENNAI: 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 put things together again. However, these efforts seems to have dwindled now and the victims say promises 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 reports reaching from the districts indicate that the reality is different on the ground. "We had a lot of money pouring in from various sources. NGOs and government organisations directly dealt with them. But how much of the benefit has reached the affected is a point of contention. Some of the people are unaware of the government schemes and most do not want to question the government for fear that they may be denied whatever little they are getting," said P Antony Raj, a social worker in Nagercoil who worked with the tsunami victims in Kanyakumari district. In fact, many complain that most of the houses constructed for the victims have developed cracks and some have even collapsed in Kanyakumari. They have been built in a hurry, without much consideration to infrastructure and sanitation, relief workers say. Some of the houses have been constructed in low-lying areas like Chennai's Kargil Nagar or Tsunami Nagar. In places like Nagapattinam the houses are too small to accommodate a family. People are thus being forced to live in rented houses. Compensation, or the lack of it, has become another sore point for the victims. Distribution of compensation is still entangled in controversies and confusion, especially in Kanyakumari and Nagapattinam districts. The only district where life seems to have returned to near normal is Cuddalore, which continues to showcase its quick recovery after the tragedy. On the positive side, a number of self-help groups have mushroomed among women. Independent of compensation and rehabilitation hassles, these groups are providing a means of livelihood to its members.

Several tsunami survivors still homeless 25 Dec 2006, 1426 hrs IST, PTICHENNAI: Two years have passed since the tsunami disaster, but thousands of survivors are yet to return to their normal lives in coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, mainly due to the inordinate delay in allotment of permanent houses. Though the government and NGOs acted swiftly on various fronts in the aftermath of the December 26 2004 tragedy, progress had been slow with regard to rehabilitation, particularly in providing proper dwellings, say survivors. According to official statistics, around 37,000 permanent houses for the survivors are yet to be made in the state. In the worst-affected Nagapattinam district, construction work for 18,600 houses by the government and various agencies started in March 2005, but only 6,168 of them have been handed over to the beneficiaries. The situation is almost the same in adjacent Cuddalore district. Among 2,393 houses ordered for construction by the Tamil Nadu government, only 1,703 have so far been completed. According to district officials, site identification took a long time. And when sites were identified, survivors found them less convenient and wanted them to be located elsewhere. Life in the temporary shelters has been 'painful' for the survivors for the past two years. "They call these dwellings temporary shelters, but life in these dwellings has caused permanent problems to our health," says Senthil of Tarangambadi in Nagapattinam district, where construction work started only a few months back. "Ever since we came to the shelters, we have been suffering from serious ailments. For the past few months, we have been hit by mysterious fevers. Hundreds of people have received treatment," says Kannan, another survivor. According to Selvi of Nagapattinam, mosquito bites, 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

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however, the waves may suddenly grow rapidly in height. When the waves

TsunamiIINTRODUCTION

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 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 when it hits a coastline. Tsunamis can be generated by an undersea earthquake, an undersea landslide, the eruption of an undersea volcano, or by the force of an asteroid crashing into the ocean. The most frequent cause of tsunamis is an undersea earthquake. When the ocean floor is 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 originate along the Ring of Fire, a zone of volcanoes and seismic activity, 32,500 km (24,000 mi) long, which encircles the Pacific Ocean. Since 1819, about 40 tsunamis have struck the Hawaiian Islands. A tsunami can have wavelengths, or widths (the distance between one 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, Tsunamis have tremendous force because of the great volume of water affected and the speed at which they travel. Just a cubic yard of water, for example, weighs about one ton. Although the tsunami slows to a speed of 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 settlements.Tsunami A tsunami is a very large sea wave that is generated by a disturbance along the 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 water, this fast-traveling wave grows very large. Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

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 caused by the gravitational forces involved in tides. Instead, tsunamis are believed to be caused by a tilting of the ocean floor, undersea landslides, or undersea volcanic eruptions. Dieter and Mary Plage/Oxford Scientific Films

The Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory developed the first reliable scientific instrument for detecting tsunamis and quickly alerting scientists when a tsunami occurs. The instrument, known as a tsunameter, is anchored on the ocean floor and measures changes in water pressure when a tsunami passes above. Six of these instruments are deployed in the Pacific Ocean. When a tsunameter detects a tsunami, it sends acoustic signals to a buoy on the surface. The buoy converts the signals to radio waves and relays the data to an orbiting satellite, which then alerts several warning centers, including the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa Beach and the West Coast Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska. The entire process takes only about two minutes. NOAA scientists then study the signals to determine if a tsunami warning is necessary. The early warning system is known as the Deep-ocean Assessment and

Tsunamis should not be confused with storm surges, which are domes of water that rise underneath hurricanes or cyclones and cause extensive coastal flooding when the storms reach land. Storm surges are particularly devastating if they occur at high tide. A cyclone and accompanying storm surge killed an estimated 500,000 people in Bangladesh in 1970. Tsunamis are sometimes called tidal waves, but they have nothing to do with the gravitational forces that cause tides.

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 basins. However, in late 2005 Indias Meteorological Department announced that it was using 11 tidal gauges and seismic monitors in the Indian Ocean to establish an interim warning system until a more comprehensive system could be completed. Once a tsunami warning is

Tsunamis are rare and difficult to predict. Although scientists can rapidly detect an undersea earthquake through the use of seismometers, not all undersea earthquakes will generate a tsunami. Other factors, such as the topography of the ocean floor at the epicenter of a quake, are involved.

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 coastal Portugal, Spain, and Morocco and destroyed the city of Lisbon, Portugal. The last major tsunami to occur in the Indian Ocean happened in 1883 with the eruption of Krakatau (also spelled Krakatoa). The resulting tsunami reached an estimated height of 30 m (100 ft), traveled 13,000 km (8,000 mi), and drowned about 34,000 people along the coasts of Java 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.Tsunami Hits Thailand Ocean water submerges coastal buildings on Thailands Phi Phi Island after the worst tsunami in history killed people in 14 countries rimming the Indian Ocean in 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, Portugal, in 1755 and killed 60,000 people. Lana Slivar/Reuters/Corbis

Waiting in line Tsunami survivors wait for milk at a relief camp in Kanniyakumari, southern India. Photo: Sucheta Das/Reuters

Current affairs Electricity workers in southern India begin repairing the regions devastated infrastructure. Photo: Gurinder Osan/AP

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 A mattress and pillow floats past destroyed houses in the fishing village of Ban Nam Khaem, India. Photo: Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty

Desperate for help Displaced Indian survivors of the tsunami struggle for food aid in Nagapattinam. 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