In India, 10,136 people, according to official estimates, were killed and hundreds of thousands were rendered homeless when a tsunami triggered by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake near the Indonesian island of Sumatra hit the southern peninsular coast on 26 December 2004. The earthquake registered 9.0 in moment magnitude and was the biggest in five decades. This was followed by strong aftershocks, including a 7.1 magnitude quake in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
|Andaman & Nicobar||1,310||7,000||200||5,544||17,000||37,000|
|Andhra Pradesh||105||116||—||11||34,000||0 (All returned)|
|Tsunami damage in India 1|
|Factor||Andhra Pradesh||Kerala||Tamil Nadu||Pondicherry||Total|
|Area affected (km²)||7.9||Unknown||24.87||7.9||40.67|
|Length of coast affected (km)||985||250||1,000||25||2,260|
|Extent of penetration (km)||0.5 - 2.0||1 - 2||1 - 1.5||0.30 - 3.0|
|Reported height of tsunami (m)||5||3-5||7-10||10|
The Great Nicobar and Car Nicobar islands were the worst hit among all the islands because of their proximity to the quake and relative flatness. Aftershocks continue to rock the area. One fifth of the population of the Nicobar Islands is said to be dead, injured or missing (). Chowra Island has lost two thirds of its population of 1,500. Entire islands have been washed away, and the island of Trinket has been split in two (). Communications have not been restored with the Nancowry group of islands, some of which have been completely submerged, with the total number of the population still out of contact exceeding 7,000 ().
Among the casualties in Car Nicobar, 111 Indian Air Force personnel and their family members were washed away when the wave hit their air base, which was reported to have been severely damaged (). The St. Thomas Cathedral (also known as the John Richardson church after John Richardson, a missionary and member of parliament) was washed away. The church, established in 1930 was one of the oldest and prominent churches in the region. A cricket stadium named after John Richardson and a statue dedicated to him were also washed away.
The majority of the population of Andaman Islands is made up of people from the mainland, mostly from West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. The natives of Andaman and Nicobar Islands are endangered tribal groups, such as the Jarawa, the Sentinelese, the Shompen, the Onge and the Andamanese. They are regarded as anthropologically significant as they are some of the world's most primitive tribes and considered the world's only link to ancient civilisation. Most of these tribes have maintained their aboriginal lifestyle for centuries, and government policy has been to not interfere with them unless absolutely essential.
It is reported that most of the native islanders survived the tsunami because they live on higher ground or far from the coast (). The Onge (with a 2001 census population of 96), Jarawa (240), Sentinelese (39) and Andamanese (43) have been reached by survey teams and are confirmed to be safe although the number of dead is unknown. The Sentinelese live on a reserved island and are hostile to outsiders which is making it difficult for Indian officials to visit the island. They have shot arrows at helicopters sent to check on them. (, , ). In the Nicobar Islands, the Nicobarese, a Southeast Asian-looking tribe (2001 population of 28,653), have lost about 656 lives with 3,000 still missing. Surveys are being conducted on the Shompen (2001 census count of 398) located on Great Nicobar island.
India's only active volcano, Barren 1, located at Barren Island 135 kilometres (80 miles) northeast of the capital Port Blair, erupted because of increased seismic activity on 30 December, 2004. People have been evacuated since then and there have been no reports of any casualties. India was highly affected as 700 children lost their parents.
Those killed in Kanyakumari include pilgrims taking a holy dip in the sea. Of about 700 people trapped at the Vivekananda Rock Memorial off Kanyakumari, 650 were rescued. In Chennai, people playing on the Marina beach and those who taking a Sunday morning stroll were washed away, in addition to the fisherfolk who lived along the shore and those out at sea. The death toll at Velankanni in Nagapattinam district is currently 1,500. Most of these people were visiting the Basilica of the Virgin Mary for Christmas, while others were residents of the town. The nuclear power station at Kalpakkam was shut down after sea water rushed into a pump station. No radiation leak or damage to the reactor was reported (). About 100 casualties were reported from Kalpakkam, all power plant personnel and their families.
The Indian government issued a fresh tsunami alert across India's coastal areas This alert triggered panic in some coastal areas, subsequent to which the government had to issue clarifications to calm the people.
The Andaman region is still experiencing aftershocks of varying intensities.
|Aftershocks at Andaman|
|Date||# of aftershocks|| Intensity |
|26 Dec 2004||26||5.2 to 7.0|
|27 Dec 2004||16||5.0 to 5.8|
|28 Dec 2004||9||5.0 to 5.4|
|29 Dec 2004||12||5.0 to 6.1|
|30 Dec 2004||6||5.2 to 5.5|
|31 Dec 2004||12||5.2 to 5.8|
| 1 Jan 2005 |
|3||5.0 to 6.3|
|1||Government of India|| The Prime Minister has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 1,00,000 |
(one lakh rupees) to the next of kin of each deceased.
The ex-gratia payment will be made from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.
|2||State Government of Tamil Nadu|| The Chief Minister has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 1,00,000 (one lakh) to the families of each of the victims. |
Source: (The Hindu)
|3||State Government of Kerala|| Ex gratia of Rs. 50,000 to the next kin of those killed. |
Assistance of Rs. 10,000 for the families of the deceased, to meet the funeral expenses.
|4||Union Territory of Pondicherry|| The Chief Minister N Rangasamy has announced an ex gratia of Rs 1,00,000 (one lakh) to the next of kin of the dead. |
The administration would also pay an ex gratia of Rs 5000 towards funeral expenditure.
For those injured in the disaster, the administration would provide Rs 5000.
A sum of Rs 10,000 to enable the homeless to reconstruct houses.
requests on-line donations to provide for immediate relief to disaster victims
Three vessels have been launched for Male.