Divine Word Missionaries

Tsunami in South-East Asia


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INH Province
Tsunami relief operation of Province team

To: Rev. Fr. Antonio Pernia,

reetings from INH Province. I would like to bring to your kind notice that the Tsunami relief operation of our Province team is right now in the border of Tuticorin and Kanyakuamai districts of Tamil Nadu. Though the Government of India brought to the notice of the public that there would not be any more Tsunami catastrophe and requested the people not to be in panicky, the Tamil Nadu State Government wanted to take precautionary measures. Hence it had sent Government officials to make announcements in the coastal area villages to evacuate from there immediately. The people who were affected took the announcement seriously and we could see the immediate effect of it. The people started moving to the near by safer places leaving behind their belongings and we could see the real Exodus here.

Now it has taken a day for them to realize that there is no harm in coming back to the village and to take possession of their belongings.

Nagapatinam, Kanyakumari and Cuddalore districts in focus:

Tsunami waves have destroyed about 150 villages which located in the coastal areas in the above mentioned districts. More over about 42 thousand boats have been completely damaged, 80 thousand houses have been destroyed and it is estimated that a sum of Rupees 2,400 crores could be the loss incurred due to Tsunami catastrophe in these districts.

Coastal districts in Tamil Nadu:

There are 13 costal districts in the State of Tamil Nadu namely Chennai, Kanchipuram, Thiruvalur, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Nagapatinam,Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Puthukottai, Ramanathapuram, Tuticorin, Trinelveli and Kannyakumari. In all above said districts there are about 591 villages which are thickly populated by the fisher men and almost 8 lakhs people completely depend on fishing. Everything had to come to an end due to the monster Tsunami waves and the people are looking forward to re-start their lives and to someone who can give them a helping hand.

Words of appreciations are being poured in for the relief work that we have undertaken for the Tsunami victims. The Local Ordinary of Tutucorin diocese too send you his whole hearted thanks for taking up relief work in his diocese His Lordship again requested us to come again to his diocese for the second time in the last one week to carry out further relief work. We, the Divine Word Missionaries are working in the diocese of Tuticorin for the last couple of years and his Lordship is very happy with our work.

We would like to bring to your kind notice that We, the Divine Word Missionaries are only one religious congregation which responded promptly and took over the relief work. Hence with this sentiment the Local Ordinary has invited us for the second time here.

Tsunami relief work SVD team has already visited the villages namely Uvari, Kuduthalai, Kootapuli, Kulasekarapattinam and Eddinthakarai in Tuticorin district and distributed food items, kitchen utensils, bedsheets, towels and other basic amenities.

Kindly remember the people in your prayers.

Thanking you,
Yours Sincerely,

Fr. Savarimuthu Devadass SVD Director, Divine Word Social Service Society
Fr. Selvam, SVD, Director, Arnold Communications
C/o Rev. Fr. Gnanaprakasam Lazar SVD Provincial Superior, INH Province.