According to official estimates in India, 10,136 people were killed and hundreds of thousands were rendered homeless when a tsunami triggered by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake near the Indonesian island of Sumatra hit the southern peninsular coast on 26 December 2004. The earthquake registered 9.0 in moment magnitude and was the biggest in five decades. This was followed by strong aftershocks in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Affected states and regions
Andaman and Nicobar
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands comprise 572 islands (all land masses in both low and high tides) out of which 38 are inhabited, both by people from the mainland and indigenous tribes. The islands lie just north of the earthquake epicentre, and the tsunami reached a height of 15 m in the southern Nicobar Islands. The official death toll is 1,310, and about 5,600 are still missing. The unofficial death toll (including those missing and presumed dead) is estimated to be about 7,000.
The Great Nicobar and Car Nicobar islands were the worst hit among all the islands because of their proximity to the quake and relative flatness. Aftershocks continue to rock the area. One fifth of the population of the Nicobar Islands is said to be dead, injured or missing (). Chowra Island has lost two thirds of its population of 1,500. Entire islands have been washed away, and the island of Trinket has been split in two (). Communications have not been restored with the Nancowry group of islands, some of which have been completely submerged, with the total number of the population still out of contact exceeding 7,000.
Among the casualties in Car Nicobar, 111 Indian Air Force personnel and their family members were washed away when the wave hit their air base, which was reported to have been severely damaged. The St. Thomas Cathedral (also known as the John Richardson church after John Richardson, a missionary and member of parliament) was washed away. The church, established in 1930 was one of the oldest and prominent churches in the region. A cricket stadium named after John Richardson and a statue dedicated to him were also washed away.
The majority of the population of Andaman Islands is made up of people from the mainland, mostly from West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. The natives of Andaman and Nicobar Islands are endangered tribal groups, such as the Jarawa, the Sentinelese, the Shompen, the Onge and the Great Andamanese. They are regarded as anthropologically significant as they are some of the world's most primitive tribes and considered the world's only link to ancient civilization. Most of these tribes have maintained their aboriginal lifestyle for centuries, and government policy has been to not interfere with them unless essential.
It is reported that most of the native islanders survived the tsunami because they live on higher ground or far from the coast. The Onge (with a 2001 census population of 96), Jarawa (240), Sentinelese (39) and Great Andamanese (43) have been reached by survey teams and are confirmed to be safe although the number of dead is unknown. The Sentinelese live on a reserved island and are hostile to outsiders which is making it difficult for Indian officials to visit the island. They have shot arrows at helicopters sent to check on them. In the Nicobar Islands, the Nicobarese, a Southeast Asian-looking tribe (2001 population of 28,653), have lost about 656 lives with 3,000 still missing. Surveys are being conducted on the Shompen (2001 census count of 398) located on Great Nicobar island.
India's only active volcano, Barren 1, located at Barren Island 135 km (84 mi) northeast of the capital Port Blair, erupted on 30 December 2004 because of increased seismic activity. The population was evacuated and there was no casualty.
Indira Point (6°45’10″N and 93°49’36″E), the southernmost point of the Great Nicobar Island and India itself, subsided 4.25 m in the tsunami and the lighthouse there was damaged. The lighthouse has been made functional since then. it was a havoc
Further meteorological/seismic developments
The Indian Meteorological department has warned people in coastal areas to be careful. The seas are predicted to rough due to the after shocks with tidal waves in a few coastal areas. The detailed Met report.
The Indian government issued a 15982&callid=0&category=National fresh tsunami alert across India's coastal areas]. This alert triggered panic in some coastal areas, subsequent to which the government had to issue clarifications to calm the people.
The Andaman region is still experiencing aftershocks of varying intensities.
|Aftershocks at Andaman|
|Date||# of aftershocks||Intensity
|26 Dec 2004||26||5.2 to 7.0|
|27 Dec 2004||16||5.0 to 5.8|
|28 Dec 2004||9||5.0 to 5.4|
|29 Dec 2004||12||5.0 to 6.1|
|30 Dec 2004||6||5.2 to 5.5|
|31 Dec 2004||12||5.2 to 5.8|
|1 Jan 2005
|3||5.0 to 6.3|
The government has been asked to remain vigilant in light of these after shocks without affecting the relief and rescue operations and normal life.
Government ex gratia
|1||Government of India||The Prime Minister has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 1,00,000
(one lakh rupees) to the next of kin of each deceased.
The ex-gratia payment will be made from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.
|2||State Government of Tamil Nadu||The Chief Minister has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 1,00,000 (one lakh) to the families of each of the victims.
Source: (The Hindu)
|3||State Government of Kerala||
Ex gratia of Rs. 50,000 to the next kin of those killed.
|4||Union Territory of Pondicherry||The Chief Minister N Rangasamy has announced an ex gratia of Rs 1,00,000 (one lakh) to the next of kin of the dead.
The administration would also pay an ex gratia of Rs 5000 towards funeral expenditure.
For those injured in the disaster, the administration would provide Rs 5000.
A sum of Rs 10,000 to enable the homeless to reconstruct houses.
The following bodies and agencies are seeking public help and contributions:
- Indian Prime Minister's National Relief Fund
- The Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has issued an appeal for contributions. You can find more information about the relief fund http://pmindia.nic.in/relieffund.htm. You can find the form for contribution at http://pmindia.nic.in/formpmnrf.htm
- International Committee of the Red Cross donation page
- The Hindu Relief Fund - India's National newspaper
- Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund
- NDTV's trust fund
- A listing of News and information about resources, aid, donations and volunteer efforts by a volunteer team of bloggers. Fresh information can be posted here.
- A blog of India-related relief efforts
- Volunteers for India Development and Empowerment
requests on-line donations to provide for immediate relief to disaster victims
- A list of relief efforts in India for tidal wave relief
- Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur is also reaching out to stand by its fellow citizens.
- Site run by the South Indian Federation of Fishermen Societies (SIFFS)
An amount of Rs. 895.42 crore has been earmaked for Tsunami Relief and Rehabilitation Schemes.
India's assistance to other quake-affected countries
Operation Castor (assistance to Maldives)
Three vessels have been launched for Male.
- INS Mysore (two helicopters, reaching Male on 20 Dec 2004)
- INS Udaygiri (one helicopter, reaching Male on 29 Dec 2004)
- INS Aditya (one helicopter carrying water and a water purification plant, medical teams, reaching Male on 30 Dec 2004)
Operation Rainbow (assistance to Sri Lanka)
- INS Sharda
- INS Sutlej
Operation Ghambir (assistance to Indonesia)
- INS Nirupak - The hospital ship left for Sumatra, Indonesia on 30 Dec 2004. It was carrying emergency rations, medicines, tents and first aid kits. It had 10 officers and 240 sailors on board.
- Andaman & Nicobar: Tsunami coverage | Govt. Website | Press releases
- Tamil Nadu: Tsunami coverage | Govt. Website | Press Releases
- Pondicherry: Tsunami coverage | Govt. Website | Press releases
- Kerala: Tsunami coverage | Govt. Website | Press releases
Indian media coverage
International media coverage
- Latest coverage from Google News India
- BBC's coverage of the disaster (includes video footage)
- Reuter's Alertnet's coverage
Blogs and websites
- Tsunamihelp - News and information about resources, aid, donations and volunteer efforts by a volunteer team of bloggers.
- Donateindia.com - Well organized lists of all essential information related to Indian relief efforts.
- TrueNorthFoundation - Reports of relief work and help required from Nagapattinam.
- Tsunamivictims.org - Contact numbers and Contributions towards the relief efforts.
- Tsunami Locator - list of resources to support the those searching for missing persons.
- Tsunami Help India spun off from Sumankumar's yak pad out of Chennai, India
- Post seismic Post Seismic deformation of Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Other aid efforts
- United with South East Asia - List of aid organizations, hotlines and information by countries.
India tsunami impact satellite imagery
Photographs of the disaster
- Rediff Set1 Set2
- The Times of India
- The Hindu
- The Indian Express (6 albums)
- Port Blair photos - Govt of India
- Tribune India
Reports on earthquakes in India
- India Seismicity Map
- Significant earthquakes in India
- National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Tsunami Page
- Most Recent Seismic activity
Disaster management in India
- National Disaster Management Authority
- Disaster Management in India
- National Disaster Management (Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India)
- National Institute of Disaster Management
- UNDP's page on Crisis Prevention and Recovery for India
- UNDP's Disaster Risk Index for India
Other forums & discussions
- AsianTsunami.org A forum dedicated to the support of the on-going disaster relief work.
|Regional Humanitarian situation due to the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami|
|Burma | India | Indonesia | Malaysia | Maldives | Somalia | Sri Lanka | Thailand|