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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2343

Story of a Tsunami-traumatised family

[b]Story of a Tsunami-traumatised family[/b]

By Meera Rajan

Many in India had not heard about Tsunami till the day it struck its coastal areas on the fateful Sunday, December 26, 2004 and killed thousands upon thousands and left a vast trail of destruction. Tsunami, the Japanese word, means "a very large ocean wave caused by an underwater earthquake or volcanic eruption". Chris Cramer, CNN International's managing director, admits in his foreword on a book on Tsunami: "I flicked open the dictionary at the word 'tsunami', not a familiar one to someone brought up in Britain and yet a word which would soon become etched in the minds of everyone across the world".

The book by CNN Delhi bureau chief Satinder Bindra details the largest humanitarian relief operation the Indian Navy has ever conducted outside India's territorial waters. When the first Indian aircraft with a doctor, two paramedics and 750 kg of medical supplies landed in Colombo the very day the tsunami struck, it signalled, as Bindra writes, "the beginning of what would be the world's largest relief operation". The arriving Indian doctor, Lt. Commander Gopalan Parthasarathy, heard, as he prepared to operate on the seriously injured, that his own home in Tamil Nadu "had been swept away and my mother and grandmother missing".

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