Divine Word Missionaries

Tsunami in South-East Asia


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 From: "SVD" <svdkdy@sancharnet.in>
To: <svd.supgen@verbodivino.it>
Cc: <svd.generalate@verbodivino.it>
Sent: Saturday, January 08, 2005 8:24 AM
Subject: Tsunami hits the INM Province

Dear Respected Superior General,

Kind regards and loving greetings from Fr. Babu Kakkaniyil SVD!

INM Provincial Superior Fr. Gregory Pinto and his council had entrusted me with the task of preparing a report on the tsunami tragedy in our Province.

I visited most of the villages that were very seriously affected in the State and have prepared a report. I am sending you the report as requested by Fr. Pinto. Fr. Felix has visited the tsunami affected regions in the INH province. Please also find attached a few photographs from the site of the affected villages.

With love,

Fr. Babu Kakkaniyil SVD
(INM Provincial Councillor)


Tsunami Hits Kerala

Over one and a half lakh people lost their lives following the massive undersea earthquake off Sumatra in Indonesia and the subsequent tsunami waves across the Indian Ocean on the 26th of December, 2004. The uppermost loss of lives and property occurred in Indonesia followed by Sri Lanka and India. In India the death toll and the total loss were the highest in the State of Tamil Nadu . Nearly 10,000 people lost their lives in Tamil Nadu alone due to the tsunami waves.

As per the latest reports 182 persons lost their lives in Kerala in the coastal districts of Alappuzha, Kollam and Kannur. Hundreds of people are still found missing. According to the government officials 187 villages have been affected by tsunami waves and 2,470,080 persons in these villages. 1,617 persons are reported to be injured and are recovering in the hospitals. As many as 220,105 persons had been shifted to 223 relief camps across the State. The number of houses destroyed in the State were estimated to be 6,480. The Government has estimated the total loss in the state due to this tragedy as 1,358.62 crores rupees.

Some of the villages had been completely wiped out and thousands of people are in relief camps. Many families have been rendered helpless by deaths of family members. The families have to be provided land, houses and the means of livelihood. The whole of Alappad village in the Karunagappally Taluk in the district of Kollam disappeared in the heavy tsunami waves. The sea swallowed up parts of the village. Since all these are coastal villages most of the people earned their livelihood from the sea. But the waves took away most of their fishing nets or destroyed them leaving them with no means for livelihood. The waves have also destroyed the crops in the fields with saline water from the sea gushing through the backwaters to the fields.

The Catholic Church in Kerala is trying its best to do its share in the relief and rehabilitation efforts. All the dioceses are collecting funds from the people and institutions. The local ordinaries have sent letters to our three houses (St. John’s Mission Seminary Changanasserry, Prarthana Nikethan Kaduthuruthy, and SVD House Pilathara) for financial contribution.