Asian Tsunami Heros

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

‘Run, the sea is coming!’ saves village

nzherald 05.01.05

When Mohan Phupalam could no longer hang on to his fishing boat and saw the seas frothing white, he let out a yell that saved his village. "Odi pongo, kadal varudadi!" he yelled in Tamil. "Run, the sea is coming!" His cry saved the people of Puthukuppam, a small Indian village 20km outside the former French colony of Pondicherry. None of the boats survived the December 26 tsunamis and only a dozen of the 60 homes remain standing. But none of the 300 villagers perished. Thirty people died in the two neighbouring coastal settlements. A total of 574 people were killed in the union territory of Pondicherry and nearly 7793 in surrounding Tamil Nadu - the worst-hit area of India.

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