At least 45 whales died after they washed ashore Monday night on a beach in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin district, officials said on Tuesday, with experts attributing the deaths to a possible underwater disturbance like an earthquake or volcano.
Fishermen try to drag a whale that washed ashore in Manapad in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin district. Helped by local fishermen, workers of the Tamil Nadu fisheries department, police and the administration managed to save 36 whales of the pod -- or group -- by towing them back to sea on Tuesday, officials said.
A forest department official who had visited the beach said there were injury marks on the dead whales which indicated “high intensity” underwater activity.
Despite rescue efforts, over 30 short-finned pilot whales died after over 120 have washed ashore on Tamil Nadu coast near Tuticorin.
People stand near two among the dozens of whales that have washed ashore on the Bay of Bengal coast's Manapad beach in Tuticorin.
The pod of whales started beaching themselves on Monday afternoon along a 15-kilometre (9-mile) stretch of coast near Tiruchendur on India’s southernmost tip. Fishermen raised the alarm after the whales, about 15 feet (4.5 metres) long, starting coming ashore.
A 11 Meter long whale weighting 10 tones washed ashore in the Tuticorin port last week, which is the third such whale to be stranded on Indian coast .The first one was at Naduvattam Kerala in 1947 and the second in Dhanushkodi in 1983.
(HT File Photo)
First Published: Jan 13, 2016 09:57 IST