2000 Hrs 26.12.04

Government of India
Ministry of Home Affairs

Subject: Tsunami/Tidal waves on the East and South East Coasts of the Country-due to earthquake of magnitude 8.00  (MW) scale off West Coast of Sumatra( Indonesia )

According to the India Meteorological Department, there was an  earthquake at 0629 hours on 26th December,2004 with magnitude of 8.0 (MW) scale off west coast of Sumatra Island Indonesia ) and the impact has been felt in South India . There was an earthquake, as part of number of aftershocks, off coast of Great Nicobar Islands with magnitude > 6.5 (Mw)  at 0952 hours IST, today, the 26th December,2004 . .

These  earthquakes have been followed by  a number of aftershocks, which are still continuing. The aftershock activities of these two events for some may continue for some time more. However, the magnitudes of these aftershocks will be less than that of the mainshock and with time the aftershock activity  will also decrease.  

As a consequence of occurrence of  earthquake of high magnitude  in the deep Sea,  event of Tsunami (tidal wave) take place. This event has been experienced first time in the country, affecting the coastal areas in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and UTs of Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Pondicherry . As the aftershocks are expected, the situation is required to be monitored for the next 48 hrs.

A& N Islands

The P& T lines are badly affected in the South A& N Islands , which have been badly affected.  This includes two major Islands viz. Car Nicobar and Great Nicobar.  The Islands are inundated extensively.  The communication link and power supply is disrupted in these areas.    Two jetties of  Coast Guard and one  civil  Jetty  have been damaged and submerged. The Port Blair run away developed cracks and only 5000 ft  is usable.   About  2000 feet of Carnic Air Force runway submerged. No shelter available at Carnic and personnel and families are at Air Strip/roads.

There are reports of 32 human deaths. The causalities are likely to go up.   22 people including 8 policemen have been evacuated by the Coast Guard.  

-         Five ships have been deployed by Coast Guards for rescue and providing relief material..

-         Air Force has also been alerted to assist the  A& N Administration. Two AN 32 aircraft have taken off from Tambram (Chennai) for recee.   More details about the situation are awaited.

-         DG, Military Operation has established link with military base in A&N Islands

-         The IDS HQs  are coordinating MOD efforts.  

The Ministry of Home Affairs is coordinating the relief efforts and is in constant touch with the UTs Administration and the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Health. The MHA have arranged  470 Qtls. rice,  5 Qtls Atta, 77 Qtls sugar, 1400 blankets and 237 tents (30 MT load), which will be airlifted in  the morning of 27th December,2004 from Tambram Air Port, Chennai.  In addition, three AN 32 Aircrafts with full load ( 4 MT) of relief material  consisting blankets, clothes, drinking water and foods packets, will leave for Islands one each from Bhuj, Ahmedabad and Bhubneshwar.  Two specialized Team in Medical First Responder(MFR) –one each from ITBP and CISF are being flown on 27th December, 2004 to Car Nicobar, for assisting the local Administration in rescue and relief operations. 8 Satellite phones are being airlifted to Islands on 27th December 2004 .   

Ministry of Health is deputing a five member team consisting of physicians and public health experts, on 27th December, 2004 , to A& N Islands for emergency medical relief. The Team is taking emergency medical stores.  

Andhra Pradesh:  

The Relief Commissioner, Andhra Pradesh has reported mild tremors in the coastal areas. There have been reports of  Tsunamis( tidal) waves in the coastal areas.  About 922 boats and fishermen are reported to be missing.  There are reports of 61 deaths  ( 24- Krishna , 23 in Prakasam,  7  Nellore , 01 Guntur and 6 in West Godavari ).  The State Government has already initiated relief, rescue and evacuation measures. State Government has evacuated about 9,000 persons to the safer places. The Chief Minister has visited the coastal areas in the afternoon of 26th December,2004 .   

Two ships of Indian Coast Guard(ICG) have been deployed –one in Nellore and other at Visakahapatnam.  State Government has sought assistance of Coast Guards/Navy for search and rescue of missing fishermen. No other assistance is required by the State Government, at this stage.  


There are reports of 105 deaths (84-Kollam and 21-Alleppy ).  State Government has informed about the situation, late in the evening, as they were earlier  not expecting any tidal waves.  State Government has reported that about 300 people may be stranded in a narrow strip of land between the coastal region  of the backwater off  Oachira in Alappuzha district. The Navy and Air Force have been requested to provide  helicopter service support for rescuing the stranded people.  The Navy has sent their diving team by  road today and will start  rescue operations early morning tomorrow.  

There is no other request from the State Government, at this stage.  

Tamil Nadu  

State Government  reported occurrence of  slight tremors in Chennai. Tsunamis (tidal ) waves, have also hit the coastal areas of the State. The water is reported have entered Kalapakam Atomic Power Plan.  1560 deaths ( 788 - Nagapatnam, 290 - Cuddloor, 59 - Kancheepuram ,128 - Chennai, 261- Kanyakumai, 03- Triuneveli, 16- Villupuram,13- Thiruvarur  and 02- Thoothukkudi have  been reported.  20 people have been evacuated by the ICG helicopters.  In Tamil Nadu also, all the District Magistrates of the Coastal districts have been advised immediately undertaking relief, rescue and evacuation operations  

State Government  has dropped 1000 foodpackets at Vivaknanad Memorial, Kanyakumari. About 400 persons have been rescued from the Memorial.  

Ministry of Health has deputed 30 doctors in Chennai.  A   three member Team headed by Consultant in Medicine has left in the evening of 26th December,2004 to Chennai.  Medical Teams  from  CGHS/RD office/APHO, Chennai, consisting of specialists have been formed,  headed by the Regional Director for Health & FW, Chennai and emergency medical stores from CGHS/ Central Government. Medical relief is being provided medical relief to the affected victims.  

The State Government has requested for disposal of dead bodies. Army is assisting  the local authorities in this work. State Government has been advised to deploy Civil Defence Volunteers, who can now be involved in relief operations in the wake of natural and manmade disasters.  State Government has constituted  Teams to find out the missing people.   State Government has been requested to indicate their additional medical requirements to the nodal officer of the Ministry of Health, based in Chennai. No other assistance is required by the State Government, at this stage.   


In Pondicherry also there has been damage to fishermen hamlets. A bridge connecting  Karaikal with Tamil Nadu has been completely damaged.   Further updates  are awaited.  

Police and fire services have been pressed into service. 280 deaths (211 - Karaikal and 69 – Pondicherry ) have been reported.  

A   three member high level Central health Team headed by Deputy Director General  (Medical)  is leaving today evening ( 26th  December,2004 )  to JIPMER Pondicherry. Teams from JIPMER, Pondicherry have been constituted by the Ministry of Health to visit affected areas and provide emergency medical relief.  

Pondicherry Administration  is now engaged in  disposal of dead bodies. It has been to  deploy Civil Defence Volunteers.  There is no other request from Pondicherry Administration , at this stage.  


The Relief Commissioner informed that tremors were felt in Cuttack   and Bhubneshwar. However, there are no report of any Tsunamis waves so far.  There was no report of loss of human live and damage to property. State Government is keeping close watch on the situation.  

West Bengal  

The Relief Commissioner informed that some tremors were felt in the coastal areas  but there is no report of damage or Tsunamis waves.  ICG  has deployed a ship in Haldia, West Bengal for relief and rescue operations.  

MHA- Coordination


After receiving the information, Ministry of Home Affairs is coordinating the rescue  and relief efforts  and are in constant touch with the Islands and concerned States/UT. 

The Ministry of Home Affairs have already advised the Coastal States to be on constant vigil and  have been requested to take necessary assistance from Army, Navy and Coast Guards, if needed and instruct all the concerned District Collectors of the coastal areas to take rescue, relief and evacuation operations.  

The neighboring States of  Orissa, Kerala and Gujarat   as also  CPMFs  have  been requested for food and essential items and dispatch of these items are being organized by MHA  on 26.12.04 for A & N Islands and Maldives .  

Cabinet Secretary reviewed  the situation and instructed to all concerned Ministries/Departments to provide necessary  logistic support to the affected States and UTs.  

Home Minister  has left in the evening today, the 26th December,2004 to visit the affected areas in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala  and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.  

Prime Minister has announced all  necessary support  to Sri Lanka and Maldives . Steps are being taken to provide assistance required by these countries to meet the situation.  

Sri Lanka  

The Government of Sri Lanka has also requested for Naval assistance to take their ships to Indian Coast . About 150 people were  reported to have  died as per preliminary reports. The Ministry of External Affairs has cleared the assistance.  Two Naval  ships with relief assistance have sailed for Trincomalli and Colombo .  

Maldives .  

One ICG  Dornier aircraft was  deployed   on 26th December,2004   from Trivandrum for damage assessment in Maldives . Food packets  for air dropping from 27th December,2004 .  

(S.K. Swami)
Director (NDM.I)
Tel: 23092698/Fax 23093750
Mobile : 9811061089

Human lives lost in the wake of Tsunami/ Tide Wave in the Bay of Bengal- 26th December 2004  


Name of States/ UT/


Human lives lost








A & N Islands






Car Nicobar





Great Nicobar









Andhra Pradesh
















West Godavari







200 missing





































Tamil Nadu











































































West Bengal














NR = No casualty reported.