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Tsunami memoriam: 10 years on, scars still remain

Floral tributes and processions across Tamil Nadu on Friday marked the 10th anniversary of the Tsunami that struck the state claiming about 7,000 lives and leaving a trail of destruction.

Memorial services were held at Chennai and Nagapattinam which were the worst hit by huge waves after an undersea earthquake in Sumitra Islands off Indonesia claimed several lives and rendered many homeless.

Commemorating the anniversary, fishermen associations had arranged for prayers and memorial services with relatives of victims pouring milk in the sea at the famous Marina Beach in Chennai as a mark of respect to the departed souls. A similar programme was held at Idinthakarai with people attending a morning mass and later pouring milk in the sea to remember their relatives. In all the 72 tsunami-hit hamlets, people were seen paying homage to the departed souls and many were seen sobbing. Banners and hoardings containing photos of the victims were erected at many places. Floral tributes were paid at the tsunami memorial park while at Velankanni, a special mass was conducted at the Shrine Basillica in memory of the victims.

A silent procession was also taken out. All the shops at Velankanni remained closed as a mark of respect to the victims. Fishermen in the district also did not venture into the sea. Hundreds of fishermen from 12 villages ravaged by the tsunami at Karaikal in the UT of Puducherry took out silent processions and placed wreaths and lit candles at the memorial sites. In fishing hamlets such as Pattinacherry, Karaikalmedu people hoisted black flags in memory of departed souls.

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