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  • Writer's pictureSri Loganathan

December 26: An unforgettable day in the lives of shores

We may forget about the catastrophe that occurred on December 26th, years ago, but the folks along the coast will never forget this day. Communities around Asia marked the death anniversary of more than 230,000 fatalities of the Indian Ocean tsunami, one of the world's deadliest tragedies. A 9.1 magnitude earthquake off northern Sumatra island in 2004 caused a tsunami with waves as high as 17.4 meters (57 feet) that rushed through susceptible coastal regions in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, and nine other countries..

About 2 hours after the earthquake, the tsunami hit the states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu along India's southern coast. At the same time, it landed on the south-western coast of Kerala. In some regions, there were two to five tsunamis that corresponded with the local high tide.

Every December 26th, floral tributes and processions take place across Tamil Nadu to commemorate the anniversary of the catastrophic Tsunami waves that slammed the state on the same day in 2004, taking over 7,000 lives and leaving a trail of damage. The devastating waves took numerous lives and left many more homeless. To commemorate the occasion, fisherman groups hold prayers and memorial ceremonies once a year, with victims' relatives pouring milk into the water at the noted Marina Beach here. Chennai's fishermen do not venture into the sea.


Arulampalam, S., Perera, L., Mel, S. D., White, C., & Denborough, D. (2005). Stories from Srilanka -- Responding to the Tsunami.

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