TN pays homage to tsunami victims

TN pays homage to tsunami victims

Calamity claimed over 8,000 lives in the state

TN pays homage to tsunami victims

A group of women pouring milk in the sea at Marina beach in the memory of tsunami victims in Chennai on Saturday. PTI

The catastrophic event had claimed over 8,000 lives in the state alone.
On the Marina sands here on Saturday morning, ironically beautified just last week, those artistically inclined from the Tamil Nadu fishermen’s federation self-consciously made crude sculptures in sand pits, depicting scores of victims in a tight embrace of death this day that year as killer waves struck.

Womenfolk from the affected fishermen’s families came with pots of milk and poured them amid tears on the sand sculptures, while their counterparts in fishing hamlets across the state, right up to Kannyakumari in deep South, paid homage in their own little ways.

In Nagapattinam, which bore the brunt of the tragedy losing nearly 6,500 people to the tsunami, the homage was led by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam(DMK) Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi who along with others laid  wreaths at the “Memorial” constructed in the district collector’s office at 9:20 am, the time when the first deadly waves struck this part of coastal Tamil Nadu.

Kanimozhi consoled the fishermen’s children orphaned by the disaster and later led a silent procession in the town to its worst affected hamlets of “Akkarai Pettai” and “Keechankuppam.”

Prayer meeting

An all-faith prayer meeting was held at a middle school in the latter coastal community.
Processions, candle-light vigils and special prayers in temples and coastal churches, including at the famous Velankanni shrine in Nagapattinam district, marked the mourning. In Kannyakumari, a number of tourists also joined the fishermen in offering floral tributes to the tsunami victims’ memorial there. However, this year had more than its fair share of woes for the fishermen community. While the Centre’s proposed Coastal Regulation Bill has already touched raw nerves, the news of a large number of charities “swindling” crores of rupees in funds, meant for construction of permanent houses for the affected fishing community, has left them disheartened.

Meanwhile, in Kollam, Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan on Saturday paid homage to those who lost their lives in the deadly tsunami which struck the coastal areas of the state five years ago, claiming 176 lives.

The chief minister handed over keys of 60 houses constructed as part of a tsunami rehabilitation programme, to beneficiaries at Mudakara in the district.