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Sri Lanka saved Tuticorin district
A Ganesh Nadar in Tuticorin | January 01, 2005 03:54 IST
Last Updated: January 12, 2005 20:58 IST
From Manappadu you go north and reach Kulasekharapatinam, which houses a very famous temple dedicated to Goddess Muthumariamma.
No lives were lost in this town, nor were any houses damaged. But like in case of all fishing villages in Tuticorin district, boats and nets were damaged.
In Tuticorin, one man died of a heart attack on seeing the tsunamis.
North of Kulasekharapatnam is Tiruchendur, which has a huge temple of Lord Murugan right on the sea shore. It is one of the six abodes of Lord Murugan, who is Lord Shiva's second son. Here people say that Sri Lanka saved this district from the fury of the sea. The neighbouring island nation bore the brunt of the tsunamis.
In nearby Kayalpatnam town is the DCW factory, which is the biggest industrial establishment in the Tiruchendur Lok Sabha constituency. DCW employees have donated a day's pay to the district collector towards the chief minister's relief fund. The amount adds up to Rs 300,000.
DCW employees have also collected a lorry load of utensils and clothes from among themselves. The material was to be distributed in Idinthakarai and Colachel in Kanyakumari district.
DCW has also distributed several quintals of rice in the villages of Kayalpatnam, Kombuthurai, Amali Nagar, Alanthalai, Kulasekharapatinam and Manappadu, all of which are in Tuticorin district.
Tiruchendur MLA and state minister Anita Radhakrishnan visited Punnakayal on Friday. The village is situated where the Thambiraparani River empties into the sea. The minister came in a convoy of seven vehicles, made a lot of promises and left.
As you go north towards Tuticorin, you pass the Heavy Water Project plant and the Southern Petrochemical Industrial Corporation (SPIC) complex. It latter is the second largest fertilizer plant in Asia. Both these industries were not damaged by the tsunamis.
Tuticorin harbour was alerted a little while before the tsunamis struck. Authorities ordered all ships in the harbour out to sea, where they would be safe. The ships went out to sea and anchored at the 5km mark.
A wall of the administrative office of the harbour and water entered the ground floor of the building. The Central Industrial Security Force security post was washed away. The children's park nearby was flooded with salt water.
"The plants will be destroyed. We will have to re-plant them," said Tuticorin Port Trust Deputy Chairman Balakrishnan. The office has been cleaned up but repairs are expected to take a month and cost Rs 50 lakh.
At the other end of Tuticorin town is the fishing village of Thresapuram. On Tuesday, its residents had blocked the main road as ten boats that had gone to sea, had not returned. They dispersed only after district Superintendent of Police Sandeep Rai Rathore promised to send a helicopter to search for the boats.
The fishermen returned safely on Wednesday. They landed at Rameswaram and returned to their village by road.
On Friday afternoon, the fisherfolk were crowded in the fisheries training centre, to collect monetary assistance and rice being distributed by the state government.
The government has plans to feed them till they could go back to the sea to fish.
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