"The man does better who runs from disaster than he who is caught by it"
……..Homer in 'Smyrns of Chios'//
On the fateful morning of the 26th of December 2004, giant killer waves struck the Indian coastline, wrecking havoc that was unprecedented in both its severity and impact. These waves, otherwise known as the Tsunami, was the most devastating that history has witnessed, and left behind an agonizing trail of death and destruction. It was triggered by an earthquake of the magnitude of 9.0 on the Richter scale, which had originated off Sumatra, in the Indonesian Archipelago.
The 'Tsunami', meaning 'waves' in Japanese, is a series of large ocean waves, caused by an underwater activity, like an earthquake, volcanic eruption or a landslide, which displaces a large body of water. In the open sea, these waves measure up to 15 cms and are of no consequence, but on heading landward, their speed diminishes as they assume gigantic proportions to conserve the total energy. They unleash their fury on reaching the land, and destroy everything within their reach.
The Tsunami normally occurs in the Pacific Ocean, and Hawaii, a pacific island, is at the greatest risk for it. Although considered a relatively rare event, the Tsunamis have claimed thousands of lives worldwide and impacted the existence of millions. Damage to properties along coastal cities has been accounted to be worth several million US dollars.
As a phenomenon alien to the region, the catastrophic giant waves took the Indian sub-continent completely unawares. The southern states of India were the worst affected. The Government has sanctioned funds to the tune of 1127 crore for relief and rehabilitation activities. The Rural Development Department, along with several NGOs, coordinated with a network of functionaries and performed a commendable task to put the affected back on the road of recovery.
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