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2004 Tsunami: Tamil Nadu observes 12th anniversary of tragedy

Chennai: The 12th anniversary of the killer tsunami that caused massive destruction in Tamil Nadu in 2004 was observed across the state with people mourning the dead and fishermen keeping off the seas.

Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar and Handloom Minister OS Manian paid tributes in Chennai and at Nagapattinam, respectively.

Special prayers and floral tributes besides remembering the loved ones by pouring milk into the sea marked the day, even as many recalled that fateful day on December 26 when tidal waves swept away their loved ones along the coast.

Prayers and tributes were held in Chennai and Nagapattinam, with the latter bearing the brunt of the killer waves, besides others, including Cuddalore and Kanniyakumari.

Women poured milk into the sea as a mark of respect to the departed ones while candle light and floral tributes were paid by people for their relatives who were consumed by the sea.

While many remembered their surviving the ordeal, others recalled how the waves swept away their close relatives.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Fishermen did not venture out to sea for their vocation on Monday.

At Nagapattinam, when the clock struck 9:17 a.m, people rose to observe a minute’s silence to pay homage to the persons who lost their lives in the tsunami.

District Collector S Pazhanisamy and other officials participated in silent marches, candle processions and floral tributes.

At Vailankanni, a special mass was conducted at the Shrine Basillica in memory of the tsunami victims. A silent procession was also held.

At Nagore, tributes were paid to those who were buried in the land owned by the Dargah. The graveyard of the dargah of Saint Hazrath Syed Shahul Hameed Quadir Wali at Nagore, which is more than 500 years old, witnessed mass burials 12 years ago.

Memorials were also held in neighbouring Karaikal.

Hundreds of fishermen from 12 affected villages in the district took out silent processions,placed wreaths and lit candles at the memorial sites. Puducherry Agriculture Minister Kamalakannan,District Collector P Parthiban and other officials paid floral tributes at Nandalar memorial site.

In fishing hamlets such as Pattinacherry, Karaikalmedu and Kottucherrymedu, people hoisted black flags in memory of the departed and decorated photographs of victims with flowers.

Triggered by earthquake in Indonesia, a massive tsunami struck the Tamil Nadu coast on December 26 morning, a Sunday, causing massive damage to life and property across the state.

Nagapattinam faced the maximum fury of the natural disaster even as other coastal districts like Chennai, Cuddalore and Tiruvallore suffered.

Nearly 7,000 people died on that fateful day.

The government later rolled out series of rehabilitation schemes for the affected people.

First Published On : Dec 26, 2016 14:59 IST

PM Modi reviews drought situation in Rajasthan; Centre allocates over Rs 1,345 crore

The Centre on Saturday said it has sanctioned additional funds worth over Rs 1,345 crore to tackle the drought and water scarcity situation in Rajasthan after state Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje met Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a review meeting in this regard here. “An amount of Rs 911.64 crore has been released to the state under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), after adjustments of the state balances. This is in addition to Rs 827.25 crore released as Central share of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for 2015-16 to the state. A further amount of Rs 434.25 crore has been released as first instalment of SDRF for 2016-17,” a statement issued by the Prime Ministers Office said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 19 districts, out of the total 33, are facing water crisis in the state. During the review meeting, Raje said the state has faced drought for 61 out of the last 67 years. “She explained in detail, the difficulties being faced by people in various parts of the state due to the shortage of drinking water. She informed the Prime Minister about the Mukhyamantri Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan, under which 7 lakh water conservation structures are to come up in four years, including one lakh by June 30 this year. The state is using the waters of the Narmada for micro-irrigation,” the statement added. The Prime Minister called for a mass movement to be generated for water conservation and urged youth organisations including NCC, NSS, NYKS, and Scouts and Guides to get involved in creation of water storage structures in Rajasthan. The statement added that Modi stressed on the importance of waste water management and rooftop rainwater harvesting even as global best practices in this regard were also discussed during the meeting attended by senior officials from the state and PMO. The PM also suggested that traditional water storage structures called ‘Bavdis’, should also be revived in a big way through public participation. Replying to this, Raje mentioned that a positive example of ‘Bavdi’ revival in the Nagore district of the state has taken place even as she and assured of taking it up on a large scale. Modi said the state should aim to develop one city as a model, for solid waste management and waste water management, integrating irrigation of the neighbouring rural areas and use of gas in the city s mass transport network. “The meeting ended with a resolve on the part of the Centre and state to work together,” it said.