Tsunami shifted 7 Indian islands

Three beach resorts were among islands on Andamans that moved southwestwards when a big quake hit on Dec 26, say geologists.

| Updated on: Mar 17 2005, 15:57 IST

Three popular beach resorts were among seven islands on India's Andamans archipelago that shifted southwestwards when a giant earthquake hit on December 26, geologists said on Wednesday.

The state-run Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS) found six inhabited islands and one that boasts a volcano moved 'a few metres' after the undersea quake that measured 9.3 on the Richter Scale triggered deadly tsunamis.

'Preliminary estimates from the GPS (global positioning satellite systems) survey around Andaman and Nicobar suggest the islands have shifted southwestward by a few metres,' CESS seismologist CP Rajendran told reporters.

'Also some parts of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands subsided and some got uplifted,' the study said, adding that eastern districts of the Andamanese capital Port Blair sank deeper into the sea after the tremors shook the 550 black volcanic rock islands.

In contrast, the western coast of the North Sentinel Island, home to Stone Age tribal aborigines, rose by half a metre.

More than 2,000 people died and 5,640 others are still listed as missing on the archipelago.

The tsunamis killed more than 16,000 people in India and more than 273,000 around the Indian Ocean region, from Indonesia to East Africa.

The giant waves also wiped out 23,9000 homes, wrecked 84,000 boats and destroyed 22,750 hectares (56,216 acres) of crops in India, Home Minister of State S Regupathy told Parliament on Wednesday.

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First Published Date: 16 Mar, 20:26 IST
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