Landmines fear hampers rescue work in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 December 2004, 09:31 GMT]
Five villages Devastated by Saturday's Tsunami are marooned as causeways and bridges have been damaged by the tidal waves. "The newly built government hospital, public buildings, schools, LTTE political offices, homes, churches and temples have been completely destroyed by the sea," Mr. S. Jeyanandamoorthy, Tamil National Alliance MP for Batticaloa, told TamilNet Tuesday. He said that relief and rescue work in the former popular tourist resorts of Pasikudah and Kalkudah has been hindered by thousands of landmines uprooted by the Tsunami from the defenses of the local SLA garrison.


Recovered bodies in Batticaloa
Photo: Political Wing of the LTTE in Batticaloa


S.JeyananthamoorthyThe Parliamentarian said that it is difficult to take humanitarian supplies to the Tsunami devastated villages in Batticaloa north because there are severe transport problems. He lamented that no urgent relief supplies have reached the areas so far. "The Liberation Tigers and local volunteers have recovered 376 bodies till Monday evening in Vakarai. Rescue work has been hampered by lack of transport and medical volunteers," the MP said.

Batticaloa video clip2
"The Panichchankerni causeway has been destroyed by the tidal waves. This is the biggest problem we face now in reaching Vakarai and enhancing rescue operations there. The government has not sent any medicines or emergency relief supplies to my electorate. I have made several appeals to Colombo. Nothing has come through up to now," the Parliamentarian said. Kathiraveli, Paalchenai, Kandaladi, Vakarai, and Kayankerni have been destroyed by the tidal waves. All permanent structures in these villages were wiped out by the surging sea, according the MP who visited the areas Monday.

"At least two thousand have been killed in these areas. We have not been able to recover the large number of bodies in Pasikudah and Kalkudah because many people here were sucked into the sea by the massive force of the waves," the MP told TamilNet.

He said that relief and rescue work in this area are going slowly because of the danger from thousands of landmines that were uprooted from the defense perimeters of the Kalkudah Army Camp.


 

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