Mullaithivu, Jaffna South coast devastation said dire
[TamilNet, Monday, 27 December 2004, 15:08 GMT]
Mullaithivu, the main coastal town of the Vanni region has been completely destroyed by the Tsunami. Liberation Tigers and local rescue workers are continuing to search for bodies of people killed along this coast. Eight villages have been totally devastated by the tidal wave. Thousands are still unaccounted for, according to the TamilNet correspondent who visited the area Monday. Public building, homes and schools along the coasts of Mullaithivu and Jaffna South have been completely destroyed by the wave.
“There is nothing left standing along the entire stretch from Mullaithivu to Vadamaradchi east. The devastation is total on the coast and its hinterland from 800 metres to 1.2 kilometres from the shore. Boats and fishing gear of the thousands of families that rely on the sea for their livelihood are gone”, said Mr. Sudar, an official of the LTTE Peace Secretariat who was in the area Monday.
“All the roads along the coastline have been ripped up and washed away by the tidal wave. This is impeding relief and rescue work in these areas”, he said.
“We have been able to recover only about 635 bodies, 1600 are dead in Mullaitivu.”, said Col. Soosai, commander of the Sea Tigers who was in the area assisting relief operations.
Hundreds of bodies are still trapped in collapsed buildings and among uprooted and tangles trees, LTTE rescue workers said.
Hundreds of bodies had to be buried or cremated as the thousands of displaced are not in a position to hold individual funerals for their dead.
“There is also a looming health hazard as we make slow progress with recovering the bodies of people killed by the waves. We have to clean up fast to prevent the outbreak of epidemics”
Thousands of survivors who have found temporary shelter in schools, churches and temples in the interior of Mullaithivu are suffering without clothes, medicine, cooked food, mats and blankets, according to aid workers.