Divine Word Missionaries

Tsunami in South-East Asia

Info & News

from the Generalate

from the Provinces


Back to

Members' Area

Site Map


From: king
To: svd.supgen@verbodivino.it
Sent: Friday, December 31, 2004 1:41 PM
Subject: from INH PROVINCE

Dear Fr. Superior General,

reetings of the season from Fr. Kingston, SVD. Here by I am sending the report of what has happened in our Province area because of this TSUNAMI tidal waves. I will be updating you on behalf of the PROVINCIAL FR. LAZAR, SVD.

Please see the attachent

Yours in the Divine Word,

Fr. Kingston, SVD
Fr. Lazar, SVD



outhern India and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands were affected massively due to tsunami waves. Death toll has risen up to 6,500 according to the latest report from the news agencies. It is feared to go up above this number. Armed forces and civilian agencies took up massive rescue and relief operations.


The mild tremors experienced in some parts of the state at 6.30 am 0n 26th gave little indication of what was to come. Between 7.30 and 9 am huge waves slammed the coastline taking those near the seashore by complete surprise. There was little time for anyone to react as the waves swept away even those who were a couple of kilometers from the sea. He number of dead in Tamil Nadu has gone up to 2,758. Neighboring Pondicherry accounted for 377 deaths, 265 of them in Karaikal that borders


Nagapattinam, a town in Tamil Nadu, was tragically affected by tsunami. The death toll has risen up to 1,500 in this coastal district. The district headquaters hospital had received about 900 bodies. About 300 were found at Velankanni, Mother Mary’s shrine. It is feared that the death toll may rise up to more than 3000 here.

A mass burial of hundreds of bodies took place on the municipal graveyards at Velipalayam here at Velankanni. Huge pits were dug and about 100 bodies each were buried Most of the bodies could not be identified. The Collector of the respective district said that 73 relief centers were opened at Nagapattinam. The affected families were being provided food and shelter. More than 40,000 people had been evacuated to safer places.

A large number of tourists who came to Velankanni for Christmas were missing.


Chennai is the capital city of Tamil Nadu. The tsunami that hit the coast in Chennai left an unprecedented 1700 dead on Sunday. This included four from the northern suburb of Ennore. Most of the dead including children were fisher folk.


The toll in Sunday’s tsunami rose to 82 in Kancheepuram district on Monday even as the devastated villages tried to cope up with the tragedy.

In Kalpakkam, including 27 women and nine children perished at Kalpakkam, Kuppam, which bore the burnt. Most of them died as water entered two churches when the Sunday mass was on.

Kanniyakumari and Nagercoil:

These are the worst affected areas besides Nagapatinam. Because most of the villages are on the cost with the distance of 30 to 40 meters from the shore. The people of these areas have lost their houses, boats and many near and dear ones, knowing not what to do next. They all have taken shelter in different high lands, but have received no assistance from the government or NGOs. Our SVD fathers under Fr. MARY JOHN, SVD, Fr. Ashok Kumar, SVD have gone around with some groups to help the people.


The SVD confreres have moved up to different parts of Tamil Nadu to undertake the relief measure with some clothes and money. They are able to reach to some places already, we await the news from them of what they have done so far. As soon as we get the update from them we will let the Genera late know of what has been done.

The SVDs are going in two groups – around 11 SVD fathers are involved in the relief measure. One group has gone under Fr. Mary John, SVD and the other group under Fr. Ashok Kumar, SVD

We are supplying warm clothes, dresses and food material to the people of the affected area. We are still planning in a bigger way our relief work.

Report prepared by
Fr. Kingston, SVD
On behalf of Fr. LAZAR, SVD