The Web


Home > News > Report

'There was no warning at all'

December 26, 2004 22:56 IST

The death toll in Tamil Nadu is 1,800, but it could reach 2,500 by Monday morning, Union Minister for Communication and Information Technology Dayanidhi Maran told

Touring Nagapattinam district, he gave an account of the disaster.

Poor people of this area told us that everything happened in just five minutes. Today at around 9 or 9.30am, waves of sea water lashed the coast. Tonight they are homeless and without food.

Members of the fishing community people told us that they are very normally good at assessing bad omens from the sea. There would be unease in the air, unusual movement of clouds, unusual rains but this time there was no warning at all.

In just five minutes, the water level rose very, very high and swept away village after village. The storm came suddenly and they were taken off guard.

There is no help or relief for them. The state machinery is inadequate to cope up with this level of disaster. Relief had not reached to people till evening.

There is more damage in south Tamil Nadu. In a village near Nagapattinam town, there was no electricity. Government officers had disconnected the power supply. A couple was crying because their two children have died. They can't even burn their children because there was no electricity in the crematorium.

Parents had to travel to Chennai with the bodies of their children. It was dark in the area that they could not live in that place with the dead bodies of their children. That was really heart wrenching.

What happened at Marina Beach (in Chennai) was also tragic. Many children who were playing cricket were washed away.

More than 50 tourists died. Anybody who was within 500-800 metres of the beach had to pay with their lives.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has offered all possible help. Helicopters and other facilities have been made available. But in the area where I made an aerial survey, there are no people to be saved. They are dead.

I am now concerned about relief and rehabilitation. I would like to mention that onlookers and curious people are severely hampering relief work.

The Centre will certainly help. The state government should act quickly and send a report to the Centre. But I don't think this government is capable of managing relief or rehabilitation.

(Dayanidhi Maran spoke to Sheela Bhatt)

Article Tools
Email this article
Top emailed links
Print this article
Write us a letter
Discuss this article

Share your comments

 What do you think about the story?

Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 14

Sub: Dont do this

For god sake dont bring your poltics in here act like a human and help the people Instead of blaming others as a uinion minister ...

Posted by madhu

Sub: There was no warning at all

Dear Maran Could you please stop politising this issue, by saying this governmnt is incapable of doing things fast...They are doing and try to help ...

Posted by Prakash

Sub: What is he babbling about?!

The earthquake happened a full 3 hours BEFORE the tsuami touched Chennai. Is 3 hours not a warning enough? What is the use of all ...

Posted by Anil Khanna

Sub: Again politicising the issue

Its really pity what has happened in tamilnadu. But instead of doing his duty, this guy has started to politisize the issue. I really wonder ...

Posted by Harsha

Sub: Let them be constructive

Instead of criticising the govt's inability to organise relief - Maran should aim at solid activities on relief and his plans for the same. This ...

Posted by baskaran m


Copyright © 2004 India Limited. All Rights Reserved.