Tsunami causes double tragedy

The Tsunami that swept over the coastal parts of India has left behind scars that would never heal. Apart from the fear of epidemics caused due to de-composition of bodies floating in water and buried in sand, there are many unheard issues cropping. This incident reported in dailythanti was specially heartrending.

A family from Chennai had been to the Velankanni Church near Nagapattinam. And when the Tsunami swept the shores, this boy along with his parents was washed away. After the Tsunami attack, he was lying with other deadbodies in an unconscious state. By mistake he was supposed to be taken for mass burial with other deadbodies. Miraculously at that right moment, Praveen became conscious and blinked at the whole scene.

While this makes one think about the rescue operation’s alertness, we also have to agree that the rescue workers are also working round the clock without food and sleep and it gets tough after sometime. With bodies coming up as they keep digging, it becomes a routine and strenuous. It’s only a hope that such cases don’t happen in the coming days.

Also rescue workers face the wrath of rain and deadly creatures floating on the water. Snakes and scorpions are said to be floating in the waters near Nagapattinam scaring the rescue workers and the public.

Tsunami Donations

If you are in India now, you probably would be donating stuff for Tsunami hit areas of Tamil Nadu and other countries through your corporate houses or your apartment buildings.

Making Tsunami donations to one common place can do all the good for the simple reason, the controlling body will make sure the money and the other donations recieved are shared across with victims uniformly. Hence, I personally believe that all donations collected by smaller organisations should be diverted to the PM or CM Relief Fund which will act as the controlling body in distribution of relief funds to the victims.

Just in case, you are outside India and wish to donate money to the Tsunami victims, see the PM’s National Relief Fund page for more details.

Rupya, a blog on stocks is accepting donations that originate from USA through Paypal.

Association for India’s Development, Inc. (AID), a US-based voluntary non-profit development organization is also collecting donations for Tsunami victims. Donate

The Hindu is also collecting donations online called The Hindu Relief Fund, which can be paid by credit cards. Donate.

A blog has been setup for the Tsunami relief called The SEA-EAT blog. It’s an effort to consolidate news and information about resources, aid, donations and volunteer efforts. [Via Kribs].

Update [31st Dec 2004] – Some more links to tsunami donation sites are added here.

Indian Red Cross Society. Indian Red Cross Society, National Head Quarters. Tele: 011-23716424 Fax: 011-23717454. Donate

American Red Cross Disaster Relief through Amazon.com. Donate.

Children account for one third of tsunami dead. UNICEF responds to disaster that struck Asia. Donate.

World Food Program. Donate.

Apocalypse visits Chennai

Apocalypse visits Chennai. I hate to believe it happened. This one is a consolidated article on all the updates by New Indian Express on the coastal calamity.

A timely editorial on Tsunami from Hindu – Death from the sea.

Chronology : Tsunamis at Guardian.

BBC Reports – South India struck by quake waves.

22,000 and the count keeps increasing. Diaster Toll – Sri Lanka:11,000 dead, Indonesia: 4,500 dead, India: 3,500 dead, Thailand: 839 dead, Malaysia: 44 dead, Maldives: 32 dead, Burma: 30 dead, Bangladesh: 2 dead.

Say that again, Tsunami

Marina Bridge.jpg
[Sea water flowing in Chennai roads. Pic: hindu.com]

So it happened and it happened just after all the newspapers and weeklies have bragged about the year that was. The most devastating incident happened during the last week of the year making people denounce new year celebration.

At 7:30 am on the Sun TV, it was officially announced that there was an earth quake at Chennai. From then on it was a roller coaster ride. People were seen on the streets talking and talking about the Chennai’s second trembling earthquake. I switched to the sunday channel programs as usual. It was at 9:50 am when I recieved an SMS from my friend who said the sea water was flowing into the city and I thought it was just overstatement. And only when the Flash News started to roll, I believed. The first thing that stuck was the summer flick, The day after tomorrow.

At 10:30 am when I drafted the previous post, I had no clue that there will be such a huge impact. A reporter said Tsunami hits chennai on the NDTV news channel. Tsunami, what?. And Tsunami became the most used word of the year atleast here in Chennai/Tamil Nadu. I initally thought they had just a named the tremor attack like naming tornados in the US. I was completely wrong.

At 3:00 pm when I was at the Besant Nagar beach, there were around 3,000 people standing in the shores and watching the sea. The Earthquake and Tsunami at Chennai had taken thousands of lifes into the sea and it looked as peaceful as ever.

Over the Adayar bridge the water level has doubled, a sight that I have never personally seen before on that bridge. When I pulled my bike over the bridge, I could see a batches of huts that were half submerged in the water flow.

This is probably the most ravaging incident that hit Chennai and Tamil Nadu in the whole in my lifetime and as said in the previous post, this incident would be talked, blogged and narrated a thousand times in the years to come.

Intestingly Writer Sujatha‘s short story called Nagar Vallam[City Round-up] talks about a group of people visiting Chennai Triplicane on a boat because part of Chennai city is submerged over by the tidal waves. The come there by a boat to see the places where their fore-fathers lived. The story appeared on the Sci-Fi series written by Sujatha in Kalki weekly.

Here’s is what wiki says about the Killer Tsunami

A tsunami (from Japanese ?? meaning wave in port) is one or a series of ocean surface waves that occur after a large earthquake (having a vertical component of movement), seaquake, volcanic activity, slumps, or meteorite impacts in or near the sea.

In deep water, the energy of a tsunami is constant, a function of its height and speed. Thus, as the wave approaches land, its height increases while its speed decreases. A tsunami has a very long wave length (in the order of 100 km), which makes it act as a shallow-water wave. While in deep water a person at the surface of the water would probably not notice, the wave can increase to a height of 30 m and more as it approaches the coastline.

Tsunami prediction remains an imperfect science. Although the epicenter of a large underwater quake and the probable tsunami arrival times can be quickly calculated, it is almost always impossible to know whether massive underwater ground shifts have occurred, resulting in tsunami waves.

Here is more on 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.