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Monday, Dec 27, 2004

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A disastrous dip in Bay of Bengal

Our Bureau

Vijayawada , Dec. 26

IT proved to be a very sad last day for several of those taking a holy bath in the sea at Manginapudi beach near the Krishna district headquarters, Machilipatnam, on the occasion of Poornima (full moon day in the month of Margasira) on Sunday.

The water level shot up suddenly in the aftermath of the Indonesian earthquake. Twenty-seven bodies were recovered by Sunday evening and many more were missing. Authorities apprehend there could be more casualties.

The highest number of casualties in the State was recorded at Manginapudi. The Chief Minister, Dr Y.S Rajasekhara Reddy, visited Machilipatnam, late in the afternoon to console the bereaved families. He announced Rs 1 lakh apiece to the next of kin of the dead (adults) and Rs 50,000 each to the next of kin of the children.

Disastrous tour: In another poignant incident, a whole Muslim family on a tour was caught in the disaster at Pakala near Singarayakonda in Prakasam district. Seven bodies were recovered and ten more were missing. Five workers in salt pans near the spot were also drowned. Seven more were killed at Vetapalem village in the district and several more were missing.

Prakasam and Krishna districts accounted for most of the deaths till Sunday evening (Krishna 27 and Prakasam 22). It is apprehended the total toll could be in the range of 70-100 in the State.

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