Mullaithivu situation grim amid rising toll

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 December 2004, 20:42 GMT]
Three thousand three hundred and seventy three people were killed by the Tsunami in Mullaithivu according to local rescue workers and the Liberation Tigers. Kallapaadu, a coastal village near Mullaithivu town, was completely wiped out by the Tsunami. "So far we have been able to recover 1300 of the 2214 who resettled in village after the Sri Lanka army garrison there was overrun in 1996", said Mr. S. Senthan, the village officer (Grama Sevaka) for Kallapaadu told TamilNet Tuesday.

Mr. S. Senthan
Mr. S. Senthan
He lamented that no international aid organization has come to the area until Tuesday afternoon to assist rescue and relief work.

"Refugees are crammed in public building and churched in the interior. They desperately need food, clothing and medicine", Mr. Senthan who escaped the catastrophe said.

Ms. Vaitheki, the head of the LTTE's political division for Kallapaadu told TamilNet that she struggled with the rushing waters to save some children at the Senthalir orphanage. "I heard the children scream as they were pulled by the waves force while I was struggling to revive children who were choking", Ms. Vaitheki said.

Ms.Vaitheky
Ms.Vaitheky
"There were more than hundred and fifty orphans in the Senthalir Home. Only twenty children have been rescued. Sixty five are dead. Some were away from the Home when the Tsunami struck. The toll might be higher when we account for the children who were not there on Saturday", she said.

The death toll in Mullaithivu is expected to mount as more bodies are retrieved and the missing are accounted for, Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation officials told TamilNet.

The parish priest of St. Josephís Church in Mullaithivu said that many refugees are suffering without shelter as the few structures in the coastal region that survived the Tsunami are already congested with the thousands who have lost their homes and all belongings.

Parish priest of St. Joseph's Church


He said more than thousand five hundred people would have been killed by the Tsunami if the waves had hit the Mullaithivu town during mass at the St. Josephís Church.

The executive engineer of the Road Development Authority (RDA) in Mullaithivu, Mr. S. Jeffrey told TamilNet that the entire RDA office and works complex situated about five hundred metres from the shore in the coastal town was destroyed by the Tsunami waves.

"The RDA building was put up at the cost of five million rupees. Road construction equipment worth two million and vehicles worth three million have been completely destroyed by the sea", Mr. Jeffrey said.

Mr.JefferyMr. S.Satheesavaran
RDA Executive Engineer Mr.JefferyRDA Watcher MR.S.Satheeswaran


"I heard a sound like a loud explosion coming from the direction of the sea. When I looked I saw a massive wall of a wave rising out of the sea. I ran for more than two kilometers to escape the speeding waters", said Mr. S. Satheeswaran, the security officer at the RDA office in Mullaithivu town.

 

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