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Text of Teen’s Tsunami Letters

January 5, 2005

Excerpts from letters written by 13-year-old tsunami survivor Koshi Mackenroe John.

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Dec. 28:

With due respect I inform you that about 2,000 acres of land was overwhelmed and destroyed by the flood. We are starving over here and trying to send messages. ... Everything is over and devastated. ... From the west side only water and water can be seen. ... There is no sign of land or island in the west. Over 2,600 people have died and more than 600 people are still missing. Less than 800 people have survived.

I hope you will find this letter very soon and please pass on or convey this message to the administrator over there. I tried several times but all in vain. We need an immediate rescue. A boat had come from Camorta and brought some food for us. People have told that Champin Island is gone. Camorta Island is saved due to hill area. ... Dr. Felicines has survived with her family.

All the teachers except Mrs. Evelyn (with her family), Verghese and Molly Madam are dead. ...People who lived in Marine, west bay Katchall; East bay Katchall, Ponda, Jansin, Hittat and Mottatapu have lost their lives completely. Over 20 people have escaped from these places. ... Myself and my family, father, mother, and sisters and others have survived and Uncle Sylvester and his wife too, but they couldn’t save the lives of their three children. Nuni and everyone are dead except two kids. None from Livingstone’s family has escaped. Everyone dead or missing except his son Anthony.

Situations are tremendously bad indeed over here. Kindly send some liners to rescue us. It was heard that Car Nicobar was fully destroyed. What about our family members and folks (Uncle Peter) and his family?

We are ... looking forward for an urgent rescue. We are experiencing the earthquake everyday. Uncle, please send some liners to rescue us.

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Dec. 31:

These are the list of the survivors from the family: John Paul, Esther John, Koshi John, Munni John, Anthony Livingstone, Robinson, Zebethi, James, Morrisson, Magie, Paneula, Balloon, Irenhit, Michael, Angelina, John, Ayub Frederick. Twenty-one of us have escaped and the rest are dead or missing. Harry Soul, Lawrence Soul and Mariam Suresh have lost their lives. We had sent our people to search the bodies of these people but they have found not even a single body.

I am quite afraid about the dead bodies who have not been found. Its been the fifth day but nobody has come to recover the dead bodies. About 1,000 people are surviving there half dead, now if the dead bodies won’t be taken out ... then it’s gonna be disaster for those people living there and struggling for life.... Uncle, I beg you to kindly convey my message to the administration. ... Certainly yes, the naval bases have come to drop food packages by the choppers but they really don’t know about the situation over there. It’s pretty pathetic. ... We need a major help. Katchall’s area except Mildera is completely overwhelmed by flood. That’s all uncle. Kindly convey the message to the radio station.

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