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Woman bemoans survival

December 28, 2004

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THAZHANGUDA, Dec 27: She survived the deadly tsunami that hit India's southern coast at the weekend - but Anjalakshi hardly considers herself lucky. Her young daughter is still missing more than 24 hours later and her fisherman husband and son who went out to sea on Sunday morning have yet to return.

"I have nowhere to go. Why did I survive this?" she cried, sitting on her haunches outside her two-room home in Thazhanguda, a small fishing village in Tamil Nadu state, which bore the brunt of the devastation.

"My house is full of water and there is no one to help me." Anjalakshi is one of about 2,000 people in the small coastal village still sunk in shock after the death and devastation unleashed by the wave that was triggered by the world's biggest earthquake in 40 years off a faraway Indonesian island.

"It was like a wall of water, rising almost as high as the coconut palms on the beach," said Shashi Kumar, a 23-year-old fisherman. "It was all over in half an hour."

More than 24 hours later, the nightmare hasn't ended in Thazhanguda, 170 km (100 miles) south of Chennai, the Tamil Nadu capital, and where the tsunami flattened dozens of houses and killed about 60 people, mainly women and children. -Reuters