- Education and Science
Tsunami: Thorny Thoughts and Tears
December 26,2004. The people of Tamilnad(India) can not forget ever. That Sunday dawned as usual. I was little bit lazy and got down from my bed at 8.00 A.M. I am an state Government employee and was working at Nagapattinam ,the near by town of my village. At about 9.15 A.M, there was a phone call. It is from my sister from Chennai. "Hello All are you safe?
I laughed loudly. " Hey what are you asking? What happened to us?
" Don't you see the TV? Killer waves entering Nagapattinam and the people are fleeing from the town" Before she completes her word the phone became dead. I switched on the TV. Shit-- Power had gone. Loud noises were heard in the street. People were running with small baggage in their hands. One of them told me " Giant waves are entering in the town. Many people dead. Runaway from here. In few minutes the waves will reach here"
I could not believe his word. Only during the storms we heard about these giant waves and that too only in the sea. How it could be? The same time I could not ignore his warning. I did not know what to do. My mother and wife were very much panicked. Our neighbours surrounded me. We came to a decision that we should not leave the village. So we decided to be in the upstairs of a house. This decision was taken only because we did not know about the Tsunami or the killer waves. We not even heard the word Tsunami before. But luckily the waves did not reach our village..
News of devastation of Tsunami began to spread as wild fire. The entire state came to stand still.
The next day transport system some what became normal. I went to my office. Being the District Administrative office, it was full with ill fated fishermen who lost everything in the Tsunami-property, children and what not? Oh really Heart breaking scenes every where. Children without parents and parents without their children- Office phones were ringing continuously. Anxious phones from all over the nation, to know the fate of their kins who came to Nagapattinam and Velanganni for the vacation and Christmas..
We had been instructed to visit the relief camps and do the needful. We had the opportunity to go around Nagapattinam town. Oh! What a horrible scene it was! Giant boats were in the roads and the in the railway tracks. Sea water was found in the middle of the town. Akkaraipettai ,a fishermen hamlet near Nagapattinam was the most affected area in the Tsunami. Those who came for the weekly fish market met their fate there. Bodies bodies bodies every where. Steps were being taken for the mass burials. The people were found speechless. They could not even weep for their losses. Oh God why all this?
Then we went to Velanganni a small Christian pilgrimage town. Thousands of people from various parts of the country were there to participate in the Christmas functions. But the killer waves did not spare them. We could not walk in the sands of Velanganni beach. Dead bodies every where. A stray dog crossed us with some human parts in its mouth. No it can not be described. I could not control my tears. Those who celebrated Christmas in the previous night , now lies here as dead bodies!Oh God you should not have done that. Few steps ahead we saw a man in dirty clothes carrying a gunny bag in his hand. The policemen who accompanied us caught hold of him and asked him to open the gunny bag. You may not believe ! The gunny bag was full of cut out ears and noses with golden rings and studs. All from the victims of Tsunami. We don't know whom we have to blame? The Tsunami, the poverty or the inhuman behaviour of this man?
This was an unprecedented disaster to our area. Eventhough the District Administration was taken aback in the initial stage , it recovered quickly and did what that could be done. The disaster, the loss, the tears and the havoc- these could not be forget . But inspite of all these we have to appreciate the humanitarian hands that were extended from all over the world in that hour of need. Yeah helps poured as Tsunami from all the parts of the country. Every body wanted to help the victims in some way. With full of tears in my eyes I thank all the good hearts that helped the victims. With full of tears in my eyes I pray to God "Please don't create another Tsunami any where in the world"