Schoolchildren led people from all walks of life in paying homage to the victims of the tsunami that struck the Tamil Nadu coast on this day two years ago.
In the old town of Cuddalore, 5,000 children joined a procession that was taken out to pay homage to those who lost their lives in the tragedy. Condolence meetings, floral tributes and processions were organised in 51 coastal villages in the district that lost 648 people to the killer waves.
At Pudupet and Devanampattinam, fisherfolk set up memorial pillars. Floral tributes, special prayers and candlelight marches formed part of the homage to the victims of the tsunami, which claimed over 8,000 lives in the state when it struck at 9.26 am on December 26.
In Nagapattinam district, which reported most of the deaths, people paid tearful homage to their near and dear ones who were washed away by the killer waves.
Fisherfolk in Colachel area in Kanyakumari district, another area hit hard by the tsunami, congregated on beaches to pray for their kin swallowed by the waves.
In most coastal villages, fishermen did not venture into the sea and hoisted black flags on beaches. Commemorative prayers were also held in churches. Fisherfolk in Mahabalipuram, Kovalam and Kalpakkam stayed away from the sea, mourning the deaths.
In Chennai, the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation organised a media workshop on "Science and tsunami: two years later" to discuss relief and rehabilitation. College and school students lit candles at the Marina Beach and in their institutions to offer prayers for victims.