Tsunami hits Amritapuri, all are safe

26 December 2004

Due to the earthquake in Jakartha, Indonesia tremors occurred in many places in India, and waves were sent towards the Indian coast. Amritapuri has been affected by tsunami waves, but no one there was hurt. Here in the picture, the sea water is just coming to the premises of the Amrita Ayurvedic Research Centre, located on the beach.

The sea level rose suddenly. and Amritapuri was flooded. Amma was giving darshan when the water came. Amma made announcements over the mic, which were translated in different languages, asking all the devotees to go up the 18-story flat building. All the vehicles were asked to move from the beach. Some people went to the sea to watch after the first wave, but Amma made everyone come back to the Ashram immediately.

20 minutes later, the sea level rose again about three meters above the surface. Water started gushing into the Ashram. Amma had stopped giving darshan and lead the Ashramites in the rescue and relief operations. The ground-floor rooms of the Ashram were under water for 20 minutes.

The villagers in the neighborhood were immediately shifted to the Ashram building. Arrangements were made for the boats to take people further inland, across the backwaters. Amma sent villagers, then the devotees, then the ashramites to the other side of the backwaters. They were accommodated at the Amrita University campus.

Food and basic necessities are being provided for all.The telephone and electricity are all disconnected at the Ashram.Amma cancelled Devi Bhava. There were over 10,000 visitors including 1,000 foreigners, and 3,000 ashramites at the Ashram at the time. All are now safe in the University campus. No one staying inside the ashram was hurt.

The elephants Ram and Lakshmi, as well as the cows of the ashram were moved to the top of the temple hall. And have since been relocated to the mainland. Some villagers of the neighboring houses died in the flood. Some 150 people in Kollam District have died. Amma said She is sad about the deaths, but She is even more sad thinking about the pain of the relatives who are still living. She asked every one to pray for the well-being of all people.

Amma is staying back at the Ashram with few ashramites. The Ashram’s University campus is providing refuge for all the devotees and the nearby villagers. Nine relief camps have also been established in the surrounding area. Amma has provided food for thousands as well as straw mats for sleeping. Not much damage has been sustained by the Ashram property.

When the sea water came in… Amma started the rescue and relief operations right away. Relief camps were setup at the Amrita University campus and started serving food and water.

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