Sunday, December 26, 2004

Tsunami rocks Chennai

eeaks...Disaster hit chennai today. And it was shockingly quick. At around 6:45am v xperienced mild tremors at home. Everyone got woken up by the shakes... even then at 7am the beach was normal. (v actually went for the normal walk at Valmiki Ngr beach!!), then at 9am got news that huge tidal waves triggered by a 8.9Richter Scale earthquake near Sumatra Islands, have hit the coast. I went on the OldMRoad to Cemancherry (nr AIHT), walked to the Inner-Lake shores. Water was moving rapidly from boathouse flooding area (nr Lakeside Resorts). Then at Padur, ppl were frantically closing doors and relocating. Kelambakkam was the worst, ppl were running haywire. I seemed to have arrived there exactly during the peak of the hit! Water had come into Klbm Market area. Just as i caught a 21H express from there, ppl started running hurriedly along the rd, causing a huge stampede. Many threw down their cycles(on rd), bikes and clung onto buses' windows, vans etc. I was in the eye of the storm!! Then the bus driven to Vandalur, (since v got rumors that Navalur and Thvm(!!) were also flooded and the rd had been clogged). I then had to trek from the zoo to Saidpet and back home. All was fine here. Then on Tv v got news that over 14000 lives were feared lost all over SE Asia. It was shockin watching the scale of the disaster.
Xploration:Water had come till the roadway dyke at Valmiki Ngr beach; halfway thru (till the Stup monument)at BesantBgr beach and up into homes along the broken bridge(KFI). Beach was cordoned off by many police everywhere. Parts of Santhome, ForeShore Estate, and Marina were the worst hit. Water came till the Beach Rd on Marina(oo!!), throwing vehicles everywhere. Cooum and Adyar River was running heavy with sludge water. Coast Guard rescue helicopters routinely circled along the entire coastal stretch.
It is however a solemn fact that our Metorological survey &Research Depts could do nothin to warn ppl of the impendin wave(given the fact that these waves travelled all the way from Indonesia to visit us:-(), and the coverage by SunNews Channel was horrible. They were only scaring ppl with old disaster records and (the usual)"nonchalance of Govt" stuff; instead on pacifying all. A lot needs to improve here, if v want to drive India towards Developed status by 2020 as per KalamJi's vision.

first scrub off the rotten heads, i say; monitoring situation further//

A view of Chennai's Marina Beach that was completely flooded by the sea waters on the morning of December 26, 2004. The tidal waves lashed the coastal city after a quake hit the city early in the morning.
more in pics from BBC


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