This content is not available in your region

Memories of Indian Ocean tsunami haunt survivors

Access to the comments Comments
By Euronews
Memories of Indian Ocean tsunami haunt survivors

<p>The Indian Ocean quake and tsunami ten years ago caused huge numbers of deaths across coastal villages and towns but also devastated the lives of millions of villagers.</p> <p>In the southern Indian town of Nagapattinam nearly 6,000 residents perished, mostly the families of fishermen.</p> <p>Lakshmi lost four of her children on that dark day and a decade later is still struggling to cope with the devastation the tsunami brought:</p> <p>“I am always worried about my son as he is unable to walk properly. What’s going to happen to him? Every day I have to take him to the hospital for his physiotherapy and injections. Now I have three problems: looking after my family, earning enough money and my boy. Because of these I can’t even eat properly.”</p> <p>For the past six years, Lakshmi has earned money in whatever way possible in order to get the proper treatment for her son, in the hope of seeing him lead a normal life.</p> <p>“I have mortgaged my jewellery and with the compensation money that we got from the tsunami I’ve been surviving. We’ve already spent a lot of money from that fund and we have also borrowed money from our neighbours,” said Lakshmi.</p> <p>Her husband Kolandavelu leaves home early in the morning to play cards with friends and comes home late after drinking alcohol as a way of dealing with his pain.</p> <p>He has also started to fish again at sea, but rarely contributes any money.</p> <p>“ When I earn enough then I give some money to my family but if I don’t earn good money then I just don’t,” explains Kolandavelu.</p> <p>There are many families in a similar situation in the region. The deadly tsunami left thousands of people homeless, many children orphaned and large numbers with devastating lifelong injuries.</p>