Divine Word Missionaries

Tsunami in South-East Asia

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India - Hyderabad

INH 041231 6:00 AM (Rome time)

Dear Rev. Fr. Antonio Pernia SVD,

Greetings from SVD – INH Province. With deep gratitude for the timely financial assistance that you had extended towards rescue operations of theTsunami victims in the State of Tamil Nadu – INH Province, as per your request, hereby I would like to update the present situation through this small report.

Sofar the confirmed deaths from this Tsunami catastrophe in the State of Tamil Nadu is 6100 today and nearly 5,000 people were reported missing, according to the latest figures released by the Union Home ministry. Sixty earth moving machines were used to dig pits for burying the corpses and to remove debris in the affected areas. Mass burial was being carried out at Nambiyar Nagar,Ariyanattu Theru, Pattancheri, Nagore and Velankanni. More bodies were being extricated from the debris in Velankanni, Nagore and Nagapattinam coastal belt. Most of the bodies were decomposed and could not be identified.

However the media is repeating the clippings of the incident and showing the corpses again and again and the people are psychologically affected and they need to be counseled, particularly the people who are saved from this incident. So we felt the need to form a team of confreres specially to counsel the people and to be with them in this crucial moment. There are three confreres who formed a team and have already plunged into this type of service in the places like Nagapatnam, Vellankanni and Nagore in the district of Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu.

We have already formed two groups of confreres for the relief camps and these two groups have already covered two different districts namely Nagapattinam and Kanyakumari and visited 18 centres and distributed the items namely Rice, Bedsheets, Saris, Towels, Lungis, Utensils, Note books for the children and Kerocine. We have distributed the materials in consultation with the parish priests of the respective areas and the Nuns too happily helped us to distribute the needed materials to these poor and homeless.

The people expect that the Government of India comes to their rescue to re -start a new life by providing them houses in safer places to live with the remaining members of the families. It is only remaining a dream for them. Kindly remember the people of affected areas in your prayers.

Thanking you,

Yours Sincerely,

Rev. Fr. Savarimuthu Devadass SVD
Director, Divine Word Social Service Society

Rev. Fr. Selvam SVD
Director, Arnold Communications.
C/O Rev. Fr. Gnanaprakasam Lazer SVD
Provincial Superior INH – Province.