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Tsunami in Andaman & Nicobar Islands

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A severe earthquake measuring 8.9 Richter scale, was felt in Andaman and Nicobar Islands having epicentre at 3.7N and 95E off the island of Sumatra between 0630 to 0635 hours in the morning of 26th December, 2004. The quake was followed the "Killer Waves" or Tsunami which caused  extensive damages to life & property in this archipelago. 

But we would like to draw the attention of all about the true picture of the effect/damage. The maximum damage has been in the Nicobar group of Islands and NOT in the Andaman group of islands. If you look at the map of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands , you will find that Andaman & Nicobar are two completely different group of islands. 

The entire Andaman group of islands (excepting Little Andamans) have been literally spared from the devastating Tsunami.  Most importantly there has been no injuries or deaths amongst tourists - since tourists are anyway not allowed to visit the Nicobar group of islands.

Things are now fast coming back to normal here. Since, there has been no big damage in any of the major/popular tourist spots/destinations (like Port Blair, Havelock, Neil island, etc.) - Indian Airlines & Jet Airways have restarted their daily scheduled flights from Kolkata (Calcutta) & Chennai (Madras) and tourists are now allowed to come here once again.  

There was a temporary prohibition (just as a precautionary measure) on scuba diving for sometime - which has also now been removed. So, tourists can now once again go for diving, snorkeling, game fishing, etc.  All the hotels & resorts here are safe and fully functional now. Also the regular inter-island ferry services have been restored.

The coral reefs of this archipelago are very rich in spread and diversity - second only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. In April 2001, an international team of Indian, British and Australian scientists conducted a 10-day remote sensing and rapid survey-based study on the Andaman coral reefs. The survey showed that the Andaman coral reefs had been hardly affected by coral bleaching that devastated coral reef systems worldwide in 1998. Another threat to the corals - the presence of the "crown-of-thorns" starfish - was also non-existent in the Andamans.

Though there has not yet been any extensive study of the coral reefs & marine life after the tsunami, but the preliminary studies (which are currently going on over here) have shown that they are very much OK.

Now that we are alive - the immediate question in all of our minds is "How to Survive???" More than 60% of the population over here is either directly or indirectly dependent on Tourism. So, our appeal to all tourists worldwide is to NOT stop visiting these islands out of panic & fear. Please be rest assured that it is absolutely safe to visit here. So, please do come & visit these pristine & exotic islands in order to help us in rebuilding our economy which was & still is very much dependent on Tourism !!!

For more details please contact us at andamanconnections@hotmail.com



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