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'Some old buildings in Post Blair had collapsed'

December 26, 2004 18:16 IST

Passengers arriving from Port Blair on Sunday narrated a tale of devastation in the Andamans, hit by tremor and tidal waves.

They arrived at the N S C Bose International Airport in Kolkata by Indian Airlines flight IC-288, which was three hours behind schedule.

Shyamali Ganguly, an advocate based in Port Blair, said she was yet to recover from the shock.

"I was preparing to leave for the airport around 6.30 am when I felt the tremors. The entire house rattled and two bookshelves in my chamber came crashing down. Within no time, books and shards of glass were strewn all over the floor," she said.

She said that the road leading to the airport from her residence in the heart of Port Blair, had developed cracks for long stretches, while in some places, craters made motoring difficult. There were cracks in the airport building at Port Blair too.

M S Rao, a Coast Guard official, said the tremors were felt sporadically from 6.40 am till around 9.00 am. "I was in the Coast Guard mess when I felt the first tremor. My roommates and me ran out and saw chaos all around us. Some old buildings had collapsed. At the airport, we found hairline cracks on the runway."

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