'Sunrise Island' at heart of tsunami tragedy
By Pratap Chakravarty in Port Blair
Wednesday, 05 January , 2005, 17:25
It was known as a tropical heaven on earth, and the first place to see the dawn of the new millennium in India.
Now the island of Katchal, part of India's remote Andaman and Nicobar chain, has been turned into a vision of hell -- two-thirds of its 7,000 population is missing and feared buried under rubble from the tsunamis that slammed into the coastlines of Indian Ocean nations.
"From the damage we've seen, we can say Katchal is very badly hit," Lieutenant General B.S. Thakur, in charge of the mammoth Andamans relief operation, said in Port Blair
Some 4,657 people are missing and 96 confirmed dead on Katchal, according to government figures. Some 2,000 survivors are in relief camps