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No Official Tsunami Alert Given to Coastal Areas of Tamil Nadu

April 17, 2012

Via The Hindu

No tsunami alert

Commodore Amar K. Mahadevan, Naval Officer-in-charge (Tamil Nadu and Puducherry) told The Hindu that there was no specific alert of tsunami. “There is no alert of tsunami as such… we are informed that a huge wave may hit the coast around 4.30 p.m. Navy ships are engaged in advising fishermen to remain in deep seas as the impact would be more towards the coast. Several ships are kept in standby for use in the event of any emergency,” he said.

Inspector General and Commander Coast Guard (Easter Region) Satya Prakash Sharma said fishermen at the sea were safer than those in the harbour. “We are on high alert though there is no input of a tsunami impact…we are in touch with all our detachments.”

Here’s a Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) bulletin that clearly states that a tsunami threat exists in the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Despite this, no official alerts were sounded for a tsunami in these areas. The Indian Government Tsunami Alert omits these locations and announces it only for Nicobar Island. Activists and other local friends are reporting that there have been local alerts, but again no official, state-issued warnings.

In the ongoing story of Koondankulam , it is easy to (generously) mark this administrative miss by the government as an accidental, but minor omission. But this one incident exemplifies the kind of manipulative and dishonest tactics that has been an ongoing strategy of the state against its citizens.

It is important to note that this seemingly innocuous non-alert has a very calculated outcome. It contributes to the political argument that the protesters at Koondankulam are paranoid, uneducated villagers. The truth that tsunamis are a very real (very “scientific”) threat to the region is an inconvenient reality to the nuclear power plant dreamers. A reality which can apparently be manipulated to suit the requirements of the state.

Go here for the most updated information on the Koodankulam struggle.

Melret -- protester at Koodankulam -- being taken to hospital.

[H/T: Anivar]

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