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26/12/23 | 3:58 pm

Tamil Nadu fisherfolk commemorate 19th anniversary of 2004 tsunami

In a solemn remembrance ceremony, locals gathered to honor their loved ones who lost their lives in the devastating event that wreaked havoc along the coastline.

Fishermen, directly impacted by the tsunami, congregated at the seashore to reflect on the magnitude of the tragedy. A poignant ceremony unfolded as flowers were reverently scattered, and candles were lit in memory of the departed. The community observed rituals, including prayers with earthen pots symbolizing collective mourning for lives forever changed by the catastrophe. The culmination involved consigning the pots to the sea, symbolizing a heartfelt farewell.

Similar commemorations took place in Tamil Nadu's Cuddalore district, highlighting the widespread impact of the 2004 tsunami on the region. The day served as a reminder of the immense tragedy endured by the community and their resilience in rebuilding their lives.

Survivors among the fisherfolk shared stories of harrowing experiences and loss, emphasizing the lasting impact of the tsunami on their lives. Residents joined in expressing deep sorrow and empathy for the victims and their families.

The commemorative event drew the presence of regional leaders and government officials, signifying solidarity with the affected families. The devastating flood on December 26, 2004, particularly affected fishing villages like Singarathoppu Devanambattinam, Dalanguda, Sonanguppam, Sothikuppam, Akkaraikkori, and MGR, resulting in a toll of 610 lives lost in Tamil Nadu alone.

The 2004 tsunami originated from an earthquake on Sumatra island in Indonesia, recorded as the third-largest since 1900. UNESCO data revealed far-reaching consequences, with casualties and damages in northern Sumatra, the Nicobar Islands, and across the Indian Ocean.

The staggering death toll of 227,898 across 14 countries included Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Somalia, Maldives, Malaysia, Myanmar, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Seychelles, South Africa, Yemen, and Kenya. Indonesia, bearing the brunt, reported 167,540 dead or missing and presumed dead, with damages totaling around 4,451.6 million dollars.

Material losses in the Indian Ocean region were estimated at 10 billion dollars, with insured losses reaching 2 billion dollars, according to the International Tsunami Information Centre. 

(Inputs from ANI)

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