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Survivors leave ghost island to dogs, pigs

It was once home to a venerated tribal people who were renowned carpenters, but today the Indian island of Chawra is deserted, left only to pigs and dogs howling in the wake of last week's tsunami.
PTI | By Reuters, Port Blair
PUBLISHED ON JAN 06, 2005 12:24 PM IST

It was once home to a venerated tribal people who were renowned carpenters, but today the Indian island of Chawra is deserted, left only to pigs and dogs howling in the wake of last week's tsunami.

Most of the island's 1,300 people survived but have been evacuated by an Indian navy ship and are not sure if they will ever return to their ancestral homeland in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago.

"We were terrified, everyone said the island was sinking," said Reginald, who was helping his niece in the rescue ship's sick bay after it anchored in Port Blair, the capital of the island chain. "I don't know if I can go back ever."

Forty people were killed when giant waves lashed tiny Chawra, 2.5 miles long and 1.5 miles wide, on Dec. 26 following an undersea earthquake whose epicentre was located to the south of the Nicobar islands. Fourteen people are listed as missing.

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