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Tsunamis claim 121 lives in Kerala

December 26, 2004 17:34 IST
Last Updated: December 27, 2004 00:33 IST

At least 121 people were killed as strong waves ravaged the coastal stretches of Kerala's southern districts on SUnday.

While 97 people were killed in Kollam, 20 died in Alappuzha and four in Ernakulam, police said

Hapless fisherfolk in Kollam and Alappuzha were virtually caught in the vortex of the ocean fury as huge waves pounded densely populated fishing hamlets, spawning death and devastation.

Hundreds were injured and rendered homeless and many lost their boats and fishing implement.

Rescuers swung into action moving people from vulnerable areas to relief camps in schools.

Terrified women and children came out of their homes crying as bodies of their near and dear ones emerged from the sea waters.

The worst hit areas were Sakthikulangara, Karunagapally and Alappad in Kollam district and Andhakaranazhi in Alappuzha.

Strong waves also lashed coastal stretches of Kozhikode, Kannur and Thrissur but no casualty was reported.

The state government sought the help of the navy and the army for rescue work and announced Rs 50,000 each to the families of those killed.

Train services on the Kayamkulam-Alappuzha sector have been suspended while road traffic on the National Highway was disrupted as surging waters damaged the bridge at Thottallay near Alappuzha.

Severe sea erosion was reported from Sakthikulangara, Alappad, Karunagappaly and Thangassery areas in Kollam and Andhkaranazhi in Alappuzha district.

The Southern air command in Thiruvananthapuram has flown two helicopters to nearby Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu to evacuate hundreds of people stranded on the Vivekananda rock.

Meanwhile, mild tremors, believed to be the after-effect of the powerful earthquake that shook parts of Asia, were felt in Kochi and Kozhikode.

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