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51st anniversary of devastated Dhanushkodi a quiet affair

The 51st anniversary of the 1964 submerging of Dhanushkodi town in Ramanathapuram is likely to be observed quietly in the temple town by locals paying homage at the memorial pillar at Munthirai Chatram in Dahnushkodi

51st anniversary of devastated Dhanushkodi a quiet affair
The once railway station in Dhanushkodi wears a deserted look


Said to be the fiercest storm of the twentieth century, the cyclone which whipped up wind speeds of 280 kmph resulted in huge tidal waves which washed away six coaches and the engine of train no. 653, Pamban-Dhanushkodi passenger killing all 110 passengers and 5 railway crew, when it was just about to enter Danushkodi railway station. 

The lapse of time has also resulted in there not being many people who recall the horrific incidents. That it happened in another day and age can be gauged from the fact that the accident came to public notice only 48 hours later when the Maritime inspector reported the matter. Before being discontinued the boat mail from Chennai Egmore to Rameswaram pier and from there by ferry to Talaimannar in Sri Lanka was the cheapest and easiest way to reach the island nation. 

But this was discontinued after the storm. A government proposal submitted to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in June this year for a 23 kilometre road bridge between Danushkodi and Talaimannar is still at the proposal stage. Though tourists do visit Danushkodi, there is nothing much to see there today expect to soak in the atmosphere of this once bustling town which was declared a ghost town by the state government and is today inhabited by a few fishing families.

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