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20 missing boys return home
Rajesh Abraham Keezputhupattu | January 01, 2005 18:33 IST
About 20 boys who were playing cricket on the beach in a small fishing hamlet near Pondicherry when the tsunami struck and were reported missing since then returned to the village on Saturday.
It appears that the boys, all children of fishermen and aged between 12-14 years, jumped in the air when the killer waves hit the beach, and were thrown away to the land, Dr P A Sampath Kumar, coordinator, Chain in Asian Christian Studies at Pondicherry University, who takes evening classes for the kids in Keezputhupattu village, said.
"The scared kids ran to the roads and took the first bus," he said.
Children are allowed free bus travel in Tamil Nadu.
"For two days there was no information about them. On the third day, we got a call from Kilinur, about 25 km from here [Keezputhupattu], informing us that the kids were stranded there," Sampath Kumar, who is also in charge of a small church in the village, said.
All the boys are now back with their parents, Sampath Kumar said. "Father, it was like flying in a plane," said Murugan, narrating his experience.
Though the killer waves ravaged the fishing village, bringing down huts and destroying the catamarans and boats, there was no report of loss of lives.
Sampath Kumar said that in the night on Sunday, when the tsunami struck, he was the only person left in the entire village. The scared fishermen community had left the place fearing more tsunamis.
"I switched on all the lights on the premises [of the church], so that the villagers could come and stay here," he said. The villagers started to return only from Monday morning, he added.
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