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Home > News > Tsunami Strikes > PTI > Report

Relatives refuse to give up hope

December 29, 2004 22:44 IST

With tears in their eyes and prayers on their lips, some families in Kerala are not prepared to give up their missing relatives for dead in the tsunami tragedy and are hoping against hope they would return home... someday.

Four days after the tsunamis wreaked havoc, hope stems from the fact the bodies have not been found.

Elizabeth from Thevara, near Kochi, had gone to offer prayers at the famous church at Velankanni on December 25 along with her husband A K Joseph and only son Edwin. They were part of a 49-member group that had gone to the shrine.

Joseph and Edwin have been missing since Sunday but Elizabeth has not given up hope. She spends most of her time in prayers, her relatives said.

The family had reached Velankanni on Sunday morning and had taken a room in a lodge near the church. Her son wanted to go to the beach soon after and Joseph agreed to take him. After a few minutes, huge waves surged forward engulfing everyone.

Though relatives and friends searched for the duo in hospitals and mortuaries, they could not be traced and Elizabeth had to reluctantly return home.

It is an endless wait for the aged parents of Grant, who went missing from Velankanni with his wife and daughter. Prayers on their lips, they are waiting for his call.

Grant and his family along with some other relatives had gone to Velankanni on Sunday from nearby Kalamassery.

After offering prayers and spending some time on the beach, the family decided to leave for Kerala when Grant, his wife and son expressed a desire to spend some more time on the beach, his relatives said. The others returned to their hotel and waited.

When they heard about the tragedy, they rushed to the beach and hospitals in Velankanni and Nagapattinam, but could not find the trio.

Grant's father believes that they may be in some relief camp and is waiting for his son's call.

In Muvattupuzha in Ernakulam district, relatives of Sherin (16), Sofia (14) and Hajra (37), who had gone to Velankanni, have returned after a futile search for them. Bodies of two others who were along with them have been recovered and brought to Kerala.

Relatives of the two teenaged girls are planning to conduct their last rites on Thursday.

Elias P Paulose, who escaped the fury of the killer waves by holding on to the branch of a tree, is inconsolable. He was unable to save his wife and son who were washed away at Velankanni. Their bodies have not yet been recovered.

Relatives of another three-member family who had gone to Velankanni are desperately hoping for their return.

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