2nd lead (adds correction)

Thamilchelvan visits tsunami affected Vaakarai

[TamilNet, Thursday, 17 February 2005, 12:03 GMT]
Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan, Head of Political Division of the LTTE, on Thursday visited Tsunami affected coastal areas in Vaakarai, the main village south of the Verugal River, 65 km to the north of Batticaloa town, and discussed post-tsunami relief and resettlement efforts with the affected people and relief workers, sources said.

Thamilchelvan visits Vaakarai.
Mr.Thamilchelvan with Italian Red Cross doctors and volunteers in Vaakarai.

Mr. Thamilchelvan and his team, visited welfare centres in Thilakavathiyar Women Centre, Kathiraveli Maha Vithiyalayam where 300 families have taken refuge, Paalchenai Maha Vithiyalayam with around 200 families, Kandalady Welfarecentre with more than 250 families, Uriyankaddu with 175 families and Panichchankerny with around 600 families.

Mr. Thamilchelvan also visited the ICRC's mobile hospital and discussed with the officials on the adequacy of medical services to the welfare centers. The site is located close to the Vaakarai hospital that was completely devastated by the Tsunami. The new building that was completed before Tsunami also received extensive damages.

The docters at the Italian Red Cross set-up mobile hospital said they were concerned about the spread of water-borne diseases in the area, sources said. The Hospital which began to function within two weeks of the Tsunami is cooperating with local healthcare personnel belonging to Thileepan Medical Services, sources added. The quality of services rendered by the Italian has been praised by people in the area.

Thamilchelvan visits Vaakarai.
Mr.Thamilchelvan in the Italian Red Cross run hospital in Vaakarai.
Thamilchelvan, who also visited the Vaakarai Maha Vithiyalam school that was functioning under temporary shelter, is scheduled to have a meeting with local officials and relief workers in Vakarai to discuss resettlement and issues related to conditions in temporary camps. He expressed concern that the tsunami affected people in the Vaakarai area are living in tents that are unsuitable for the warm climate.

Verukal river is a branch of Sri Lanka's longest river Mahaweli. Vaakarai region encompasses a large expanse of land north of Navalady Junction extending 50km to the Verugal River. The Uppaar lagoon separates the coast and the hinterland. Several small villages dot the hinterlands of Vaakarai region. The villages of Kayankerni, Mankerni, Pannichchankerni, Vakarai, Kandalady, Paalchenai and Kathiravelly lie along A-15, from south to north.

Permanent structures in Kathiraveli, Paalchenai, Kandalai, Vaakarai and Kayankerni have been completely destroyed, said another LTTE official accompanying Thamilchelvan.

Vakarai Region Map

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