A tsunami is a very large and powerful wave caused by earthquakes under the sea. On 26 December 2004, a tsunami hit Thailand and parts of India such as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and the Tamil Nadu coast. Here are some stories of courage and survival.
Did animals sense that a tsunami was coming? Some stories suggest that they did.
These stories are all from the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago.
     Ignesious was the manager of a cooperative society in Katchall. His wife woke him up at 6 a.m. because she felt an earthquake. Ignesious carefully took his television set off its table and put it down on the ground so that it would not fall and break. Then the family rushed out of the house.
     When the tremors stopped, they saw the sea rising. In the chaos and confusion, two of his children caught hold of the hands of their mother’s father and mother’s brother, and rushed in the opposite direction. He never saw them again. His wife was also swept away. Only the three other children who came with him were saved.
     Sanjeev was a policeman, serving in the Katchall island of the Nicobar group of islands. He somehow managed to save himself, his wife and his baby daughter from the waves. But then he heard cries for help from the wife of John, the guesthouse cook. Sanjeev jumped into the water to rescue her, but they were both swept away.

     Thirteen year-old Meghna was swept away along with her parents and seventy-seven other people. She spent two days floating in the sea, holding on to a wooden door. Eleven times she saw relief helicopters overhead, but they did not see her. She was brought to the shore by a wave, and was found walking on the seashore in a daze.

     Almas Javed was ten years old. She was a student of Carmel Convent in Port Blair where her father had a petrol pump. Her mother Rahila’s home was in Nancowry island. The family had gone there to celebrate Christmas.

     When the tremors came early in the morning, the family was sleeping. Almas’s father saw the sea water recede. He understood that the water would come rushing back with great force. He woke everyone up and tried to rush them to a safer place.

     As they ran, her grandfather was hit on the head by something and he fell down. Her father rushed to help him. Then came the first giant wave that swept both of them away.
     Almas’s mother and aunts stood clinging to the leaves of a coconut tree, calling out to her. A wave uprooted the tree, and they too were washed away.

     Almas saw a log of wood floating. She climbed on to it. Then she fainted. When she woke up, she was in a hospital in Kamorta. From there she was brought to Port Blair.
     The little girl does not want to talk about the incident with anyone. She is still traumatized.
What is a tsunami? It is a large wave caused because of an earthquake inside the sea. In this lesson, we are going to see some stories of the people who got affected by tsunami on \(26th\) December \(2004\) which hit Thailand, Andaman-Nicobar islands and some parts of Tamil Nadu.
Some of the stories in this lesson suggest that animals can suspect natural disasters like tsunami, earthquakes etc.

The story is from the Andaman and Nicobar islands. In Katchall, there lived a man named Ignesious. He was a manager in a cooperative society. One day his wife woke him up at around \(6\):\(00\) a.m and said that she felt an earthquake. Ignesious took his TV from the table and put it on the ground as he didn't want the Television to fall and break. After that, the entire family went out of the house.
When the tremors stopped, they saw the sea was rising very high. All of them got scared, and his two children caught hold of their mother's father and mother's uncle. They all started running in the opposite direction of the sea, and the most unfortunate thing is he never saw them again. Even his wife was swept away in the sea. Only three children who were holding Ignesious were saved.

Next is about Sanjeev a policeman working in the same Kutchall islands. He somehow managed to save himself and his family from the waves. His family consisted of his wife and baby daughter, but he heard the cries of some lady who was the wife of John, the guesthouse cook. Sanjeev jumped to save that lady and got swept away along with her.

Meghna, a \(13\)-year old girl along with her parents and seventy-seven other people, got swept away into the waves. Meghna was holding a wooden door for two days, floating in the sea. She saw the rescue helicopters eleven times over her head, but they could not see her. Finally, the waves brought her to the shore, and she was walking in an emotional and physical shock.
Almas Javed was a ten-year-old girl studying in Carmel convent school situated in Port Blair. Her father had a petrol pump there. Her entire family had gone to celebrate Christmas at their mothers home located in Noncowry island.

Initially, when the tremors came, everyone was in a deep sleep. But Almas's father saw the water going back, realising that it would come back with great force. He woke everyone up and tried to take them to a safer place. While they all were running, her grandfather was hit by something hard, and he fell. Almas's father went to help him, but both were washed away by the first wave. Almas's mother and aunts were holding to a leaf of a coconut tree, but a big wave uprooted the tree, and even they were swept away. Almas fell on a piece of wood that was floating and fainted on it. When she got up, she was in a hospital at Kamorta. Later, she was brought to Port Blair. She is still traumatized about that incident and does not want to talk to anyone about it.
Meanings of difficult words:
Swept To destroy or take along the waves.
RecedeMove back.
DazeUnable to think or react properly.
TraumatisedA result of a disturbing experience.
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2008). Honeydew. The Tsunami (pp. 24-30). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.
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