Fourteen years after the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami brought its havoc on 14 countries, including Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka, emotional relatives on Wednesday threw flower-garlands and poured milk into the sea while remembering their loved ones who lost their lives in the worst natural disaster in history. The death-dealing tsunami, which was originated in the Indian Ocean, hit the coastal areas of 14 different countries, leaving around 230,000 dead and several others missing till the date. The death count in India alone was above 18,000. The tsunami was a result of a massive 9.1 magnitude earthquake with the epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. Waves of up to 15 meter hit the coastlines of Thailand, India, Sri Lanka and Sumatra. Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh were among the worst hit states all over India.
The people of 64 fishing hamlets in Tamil Nadu's Nagapattinam and Karaikal districts observed the 14th anniversary of the 2004 Boxing day Tsunami and took out candle processions, silent prayers and paid floral tributes at memorials, as a mark of respect to the departed souls.
Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar paid tributes in Chennai, while Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy paid homage to the tsunami victims in the Union Territory. Tamil Nadu Minister for Handlooms O S Manian led the special events at Nagapattinam.
With the clock struck 9:17 am this morning, people rose to observe a minute’s silence to pay homage to the 6,065 persons who lost their lives in Nagapattinam in the deadliest tsunami on December 26, 2004.
District Collector C Sureshkumar, Superintendent of Police C Vijayakumar and other officials participated in the silent marches and candle processions. At Velankanni, a special mass was conducted at the Shrine Basilica in memory of the victims. A silent procession was also taken out.
In Puducherry, Narayanasamy and others, including representatives of various fishermen outfits, poured milk into the sea to pay homage to the victims. Sand sculptures, depicting the victims of the killer waves, were also showcased on the seashore.
In Indonesia, various events have taken place in the Sumatran province of Aceh, the hardest hit by the natural disaster, under the slogan "Build together, stay alert" on the 14th anniversary of Boxing Day Tsunami.
(With inputs from agencies)