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TSUNAMI

Indira Point falls off map

Thursday 30 December 2004, by SEN*Saurav

PORT BLAIR, DEC. 30. The Nicobar group of islands will never be the same again. Their shapes have changed. After Sunday’s tsunami, some of the islands have become smaller, yielding ground to the sea on the south-eastern side.

There is no trace of the six "international scientists" nor the 20-odd inhabitants of this 100-km sq km island on the Indian Ocean. Just 140 km from Sumatra and 51 km from "point zero" at Campbell Bay (India’s Final Operating Base), it bore the full force of the tsunami. Apart from its strategic importance, Indira Point is also a favourite nesting site for exotic sea animals.

"I was there the day before the disaster struck. I know for sure there were four foreign scientists. Sixteen of my colleagues, two of whom had their families too, are not traceable," said C.S. Karum, junior engineer, department of lighthouses and lightships. Karum is now in Campbell Bay.

Campbell Bay - home to nearly 10,000 people, mostly government employees - is still reeling under the Tsunami. Only 500 people have been airlifted to Port Blair.

See online : The Times of India

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