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Tsunamis claim 102 lives in Pondicherry

December 26, 2004 16:20 IST
Last Updated: December 26, 2004 18:00 IST

At least 102 people were killed in the Union Territory of Pondicherry when tidal waves swept through coastal villages and adjoining districts, in the aftermath of a tremor on Sunday morning, Chief Minister N Rangasamy said.

Talking to reporters at Pondicherry airport before leaving for Karaikal to assess the impact of the damage, Rangasamy said Pondicherry accounted for 42 deaths while Karaikal, an enclave of the Union Territory in Tamil Nadu, 60.

He described the damage caused by the tidal waves as extensive and devastating. Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil will visit Pondicherry on Monday to make an assessment of the damage.

The bodies were taken to a private hospital on East Coast Road. Hospital sources said around 120 people were treated as outpatients.

Chief Minister N Rangasamy accompanied by District Collector V Candavelou and other officials visited the coastal villages that were ravaged by the tidal waves.

Education Minister K Lakshminarayanan consoled people in the affected villages. Residents in the coastal pockets were asked to move to safer places.

Lakshminarayanan said financial assistance would be provided to families that had lost their kith and kin in the tragedy. Food packets were being distributed the affected.

A detailed report would be sent to the Centre.

People in the coastal villages panicked when sea water entered their homes. At one stage, water rose to a height of five feet, some residents in Veerampattinam said.

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