2000 Hrs 27.12.04

Government of India
Ministry of Home Affairs

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

            The Tsunami have caused devastation on the South East Coast of the country as also to other South Asian nations of Sri Lanka , Thailand , Indonesia and Maldives .  The worst affected states were Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. The UTs affected were Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Pondicherry . As per reports received so far the total death toll has reached the figure of 4000.  The Tsunami phenomenon was experienced for the first time in the country. This was caused because of earthquake on 26.12.2004 at 0629 hrs. which was of high magnitude and intensity of 8.0 (MW) scale off West Coast of Sumatra Islands ( Indonesia ).  Subsequently, there was an earthquake off coast of Great Nicobar Islands with magnitude of > 6.5 (MW) at 0952 hrs. IST on 26.12.2004.  There has again been an earthquake of 5.6 (MW) intensity in the islands of Andaman region.  

 The State machinery and the Government of India have mounted continued relief and rescue operations round the clock. The priority is now focused on relief supplies and evacuation in Nicobar Islands and assistance to Maldives and Sri Lanka .

A& N Islands  

There has been extensive damage to Nicobar Island . The worst affected areas  are Car Nicobar and Great Nicobar islands. Communication link, water supply were disrupted  in these areas. Two jetties of Coast Guard and one civil Jetty was  damaged and submerged. The Port Blair run away developed cracks and only 5000 ft is usable.   However, Airforce and civil flights are through.  The Airline and Jet Airways have operated special flights to Port Blair  from Chennai and Kolkatta  to evacuate the stranded people including tourist.  

As per preliminary reports, 77 human lives  been lost. The causalities are likely to go up.   About 1000 persons are reported to be missing. A total of 48 were earlier evacuated by the Coast Guard.  

The A & N Administration have made following request for rescue and relief operations:  

(a)         Two additional flights one each from Kolkatta and Chennai for evacuation of stranded tourists at Port Blair.

(b)        Essential commodities and clothings

(c)         Containers for transportation of water(500)

(d)        Tents –10,000

(e)         Portable diesel pump sets of 3/5 HP capacity for draining out the water -10

(f)          Portable generator sets –200

(g)         Mobile satellite phones (50) and torches (1000)

(h)         Augmentation of telecom facilities – deputing experts from BSNL, Kolkatta along with equipments  

(i)           Doctors for Car Nicobar

(j)          Helicopters to undertake survey and relief work

(k)        Ships / Aircrafts for relief effort.

(l)           Speed boats / motorized dinghies

(m)       Petrol / diesel / aviation fuel

(n)         2 Battalians of CPMFs / IR Bns.  

The Ministry of Home Affairs is coordinating the relief efforts and is in constant touch with the UTs Administration and the concerned Ministries / Departments.  

The MHA had earlier arranged  470 Qtls. rice,  5 Qtls Atta, 77 Qtls sugar, 1400 blankets and 237 tents (30 MT load), which has been airlifted in  the morning of 27th December,2004 from Tambram Air Port.   In addition, two AN 32  (8MT)Aircrafts and one IL 76 (20 MT) with full load of relief material  consisting blankets, clothes, drinking water and foods packets, have left  on 27th December, 2004  for Islands one each from Bhubneshwar, Bhuj, and Ahmedabad.  Two specialized Team in Medical First Responder (MFR) –one  CISF have been flown on 27th December 2004 to Car Nicobar and from ITBP is being flown on 28th December, 2004 for assisting the local Administration in rescue and relief operations. 8 Satellite phones also airlifted to Islands on 27th December 2004 .   

Ministry of Health has deputed 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 also taking emergency medical stores  

Three  Naval ships are reaching Car Nicobar on 27th December,2004 . Two Coast Guard Ships with relief material and medical t4eam left for Campbell Bay on 27th December, 2004 and will reach on 28th December, 2004 .  

One naval ship and one Coast Guard Ship left for Hut Bay .  Two Donier Aircraft dropped food and water at Hut Bay and Camp Bell Bay .  Ship each from Kolkatta is planned for movement on 29th December, 2004 .  

Andhra Pradesh:  

Tremors were felt at Triupati, Nellore , Krishan, Prakasam, Visakhapatnam , Srikakulam and West and East Godavari districts. Significant tidal surge experienced in Krishna , Guntur , Prakasam and Nellore districts.   The entire coast measuring 985 Km. was affected by the Tsunamis. The tidal waves penetrated between 500-2 Kms. into the main land and the height of the tidal waves was upto 5 meters. About 300 villages were seriously affected.

The death toll in the state has gone up to 69.  About 800 persons are reported missing along with about 900 boats.  

 The State Government had taken relief, rescue and evacuation measures. State Government evacuated about 9,000 persons to the safer places and provided food packets. Medical Teams have been deputed to take sanitation measures in the affected villages.  

Four Coast Guard Ships  deployed off Kakinada , Nellore and Krishna Godavari basin for search and rescue operations  Four Indian Navy Ships operating off Tamil Nadu and Andhra Coast for search and rescue operations.  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.   


The Tsunamis also affected 2 districts of Kerala on the south-west coast. The coast length affected was 250 Kms. with penetration of tidal waves between 1-2 Kms. The height of the tidal waves was 3-5 meters which affected about 400 fisherman hamlets/villages.  

143 persons have lost their lives. About 300 people were reported to be stranded in a narrow strip of land between the coastal region of the backwater off  Oachira in Alappuzha district.  The Navy had sent their diving team by  road on 26.12.04 and started  rescue operations today the 27th December, 2004 . There is no other request from the State Government, at this stage.    

One Coast Guard ship is providing assistance and one ship has been put on stand by at Cochin .  One coast guard ship is carrying out search and rescue at Quilon.           

The State Government has shown concern about their citizens living in Male.  Air despatch of 5.5 food packets organized  on 27th December, 2004 to Maldives and 2.5 MT planned for 28th December, 2004 .  

Tamil Nadu  

Tamil Nadu is the worst affected state in the mainland. The Tsunami had caused sudden rise in the water resulting into inundation of many habitation along the coastal areas.  Coastal area affected was about 1000 Kms. The penetration of the Tsunamis into the main land was between 200 Mtrs. to 1 Km. with a height of 7-10 meters. About 500 villages fisherman hamlets/villages were affected.  

The State Government undertook relief and rescue operations and alerted the people to move to safer places.   The death toll in the State has gone upto 3297 . State Government  reported occurrence of  tremors in Chennai. The water was reported to have entered Kalapakam Atomic Power Plan.  20 people were evacuated by the ICG helicopters.    

State Government  dropped 1000 food packets at Vivekanand Memorial, Kanyakumari. All the persons (1000) were  evacuated from the Memorial.  

A   three member Team headed by Consultant in Medicine had reached Chennai and is coordinating with 15 member team constituted from CGHS Chennai for providing medical relief.  

The State Government had requested for disposal of dead bodies. Army is assisting the local authorities in this work. State Government was advised to deploy Civil Defence Volunteers. 400 personnel from CRPF were also deployed for relief work. State Government had constituted  Teams to find out the missing people.    Coast Guard have deployed two Chetak helicopters at Chennai for search and rescue.   

Message was received from PS to PM on behalf of the Union Minister for IT and Communication that 500 dead bodies at Velankunni were floating and boats were required for recovery. The bodies have since been retrieved.  Relief Commissioner was also requested to make available assistance to Kolachala in Kanyakumari district, as they had not received the relief as conveyed by PS to the Finance Minister. 2000 packets of food had since been distributed there.  

No other assistance is required by the State Government, at this stage.   


As a result of rise of sea level upto several metres in waves, coastal areas in the Pondicherry and Karaikal region were inundated.  25 Kms. of coast length was affected by Tsunamis with penetration into the main land between 300 mtrs. to 3 Kms. The tidal waves with the height of 10 Mtrs affected 25 villages.  

People living in low lying areas were evacuated to safer places and essential commodities including readymade meals provided. In Karaikal, a bridge along with Arasalar river was damaged and the communication on the southern part of Kariakal region is affected. The PWD has launched repair of the bridge.   

Police and fire services were pressed into service. 379 deaths  have been reported.  

A   three member high level Central health Team headed by Deputy Director General  (Medical) has reached  JIPMER Pondicherry was deployed.  

Pondicherry Administration  is now engaged in  disposal of dead bodies. It has been advised to  utilize services of Civil Defence Volunteers.  Government of Male has been requested to provide 20 MT relief material to Pondicherry as requested by UT admn. 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.  There was no report of loss of human live and damage to property.  

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 had deployed a ship in Haldia, West Bengal for relief and rescue operations.   

MHA- Coordination  

Immediately, 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 had advised the Coastal States to be on constant vigil and requested to take necessary assistance from Army, Navy and Coast Guards take rescue, relief and evacuation operations.  

The neighboring States of  Orissa, Kerala and Gujarat   as also  CPMFs  were requested for food and essential items and dispatch of these items has been  organized by MHA  on 27.12.04 for A & N Islands and Maldives . The states of Karnataka, Punjab , Madhya Pradesh, UP, HP, Maharashtra and NCT of Delhi  have also been requested to arrange the relief materials.  There is very positive response and supplies are starting from 27.12.2004.  The supplies to Andaman Nicobar Island is being arranged both air and sea routes.  

Cabinet Secretary is reviewing  the situation on daily basis.  All concerned Ministries/Departments have been instructed to provide necessary  logistic support to the affected States and UTs.  The Cabinet meeting chaired by the PM also reviewed the situation and gave necessary directions for further mounting relief operations.  

Sri Lanka  

Four Ships sailed to Colombo (two each Ex Cochin and Chennai) carrying medical stores and relief material. Six MI-17 moved to Colombo on 27th December, 2004 for search and rescue and relief mission.  

Maldives .  

 Air despatch of 5.5 MT  food packets was arranged on  27.12.04 and 2.5 MT will be on 28.12.2004.  20 MT relief material from Maharashtra   for Maldives via sea route ( Cochin ) is being tied up.  

2 AVROS landed at Male with food and water are retained there for further assistance to drop relief material collected locally.  Three naval ships carrying medicines, medical teams, water , syntax tanks etc, have moved from Mumbai to Male with two helicopters and relief stores.  One ship will reach on 28th December, 2004 followed by 29th and 30th 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

at 2000 hrs. on 27.12.2004


Name of States/ UT/


Human lives lost








A & N Islands






Car Nicobar


Including 65 Defence personnel



Great Nicobar









Andhra Pradesh








320 boats/ 300 fishermen missing





100 boats





100 boats/ 200 missing





100 boats/60 missing



West Godavari


300 boats/50 missing



East Godavari


200 fishermen missing





2 boats





922 boats/ 810 missing


















Other districts









Tamil Nadu


























































































West Bengal














NR = No casualty reported.




Andhra Pradesh


Tamil Nadu


Coastal Length affected in Km





Penetration of water into main land in Km.





No. of Villages affected





Average height of the tidal wave

5 Mtrs.

3-5 Mtrs.

7-10 Mtrs.

10 Mtrs.