Many missing, few bodies found


PORT BLAIR (India): Thousands of Andaman and Nicobar islanders are missing, feared killed by last week's deadly tsunami, but few bodies have been located so far, Indian officials on the remote archipelago said. 

Only about three dozen of the more than 550 islands in the group, a strategic military zone, are inhabited. Several are home to primitive tribes including some who subsist on hunting with spears, bows and arrows and on fishing and gathering fruit and roots. The fate of many of the tribals is unknown. 

A top Home Ministry official expressed concern about the endangered Shompen tribe who live in the badly hit southernmost island of Great Nicobar. 

“We have no news of them. No news,” A.K. Rastogi told a news conference in New Delhi late on Saturday. The Shompens number close to 400. 

Officials said 5,400 people were missing across the island group, most of them feared dead. Aid workers said the death toll could be much higher because they had so far been unable to reach the interior of many islands. 

The head of the Indian army, Gen N.C. Vij, said the civil administration had told him there could be more than 1,000 bodies scattered across Car Nicobar island, which bore the brunt of the huge waves, but barely 120 had been disposed of so far. 

“The situation in Campbell Bay and Great Nicobar is very grim,” a senior administration official said. 

“Already, a local administration official has been roughed up badly as very little or no supplies have reached there since the quake struck. 

“Seven to eight hundred people from a settlement called '30km East', which is about 50km south of Campbell Bay, have taken refuge on a hill,” said the official, who asked not to be named. 

“Absolutely nothing has reached them.” 

Campbell Bay is the main town in Great Nicobar which has over 7,000 inhabitants, a naval base and an airstrip. – Reuters  

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

Next In Regional

Pinduoduo worker deaths reignite debate on 996 and the dark side of China tech’s overwork culture
Covid-19: Cases up by 4,008, bringing total to 169,379 (updated daily)
Alibaba founder Jack Ma delivers video speech to China’s rural teachers in first public appearance in three months
Tencent super app WeChat celebrates a decade of influence in China’s online world, but are its best years behind it?
Thai woman sentenced to 43 years in jail for insulting monarchy
Google backs Indian courier startup Dunzo in $40 million fundraising
MCO 2.0 to cost Malaysia RM600m daily, Zafrul says
Japan's Okinawa declares coronavirus emergency as cases spike
TikTok owner ByteDance launches Douyin Pay, its mobile payment service for China
Covid-19: 3,631 new cases, 14 fatalities bring death toll to 619

Stories You'll Enjoy