One of world’s best surfing locations wiped out

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 29 December 2004, 21:23 GMT]
Arugambay, an idyllic place by the sea on Sri Lanka’s southeast coast, is one of the ten best surfing locations in the world. Nothing is left of Arugambay now. The once busy tourist area is littered with corpses and debris. Surrounded by the Pottuvil lagoon and the sea, most of Arugambay was not only obliterated but was marooned by the Tsunami.

Arugam BayArugambay began attracting surfers largely due to the popularity of the Stardust Hotel located at the best part of the bay for surfing. The hotel was opened and run by a couple from Denmark, Mr. Per Goodman and Ms. Merete Scheller.

The two came to Sri Lanka’s east coast as tourists in 1979 and decided to settle down in Ullai, a fishing village in the corner of the bay that was perfect for surfing.

In the past Arugambay was a sleepy fishing village on the southern corner of Pottuvil with picturesque government rest house on a dune overlooking the bay and the bridge across the Pottuvil lagoon. Scores of guest houses and hotels came up after it became a popular surfing destination. Tourists flocked to Arugambay even during the grim years of war when the area was heavily garrisoned by the Special Task Force and was a no go zone for many.

Arugam BayUllai, a small Tamil-Muslim fishing village in one corner of the bay where the sea is calm and the land forms a natural fishing harbour, has been completely wiped out. Nothing is known of survivors as rescue and relief work in the remote coastal areas of the Amparai district have been very tardy due to official negligence. Most of the families in the area are reported dead. The fate of tourists who were vacationing there and the owners of Star Dust Hotel is also not clear.

LTTE’s Commander Ram who is heading relief and rescue operations in the area said that he is awaiting information from his teams in the area. He too said that Arugambay has been destroyed by the Tsunami.

Arugam Bay
Arugam Bay before the destruction

External Links:
Star dust Hotel: Arugam Bay


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