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
Recovered bodies in Batticaloa
Photo: Political Wing of the LTTE in Batticaloa
The 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.
"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.