Woman gives birth to ‘Tsunami’

Agence France Presse

Port Blair, January 1:

A woman who gave birth prematurely in the forests of a remote Indian island sheltering from killer Tsunami wsaves has agreed to name the girl Tsunami, the proud parents told AFP today.

“Tsunami” has touched the hearts of hundreds of people who survived last Sunday’s earthquake and towering waves, but the mother is inconsolable. Her son went missing in the chaos as thousands fled for high ground on remote Hut Bay, part of the Andaman and Nicobar islands.

Laxminarayan Rai and his 26-year-old wife Namita were rescued by a naval ship on Tuesday a day after a pre-dawn birth. “I went into labour when the earthquake struck last Sunday but we ran towards the forests and I fell down,” said Namita, now resting in a relief shelter in the capital of the archipelago, Port Blair. “I fainted and my husband dragged me into the forests. I was in great pain but I had to live for this little one,” she said. “As the waters swirled over our homes, Tsunami was born, a month before the scheduled delivery date,” said Rai,

a van driver. “Our baby is looked after by everyone here. They have named her Tsunami and we have accepted.”

Fellow refugee Sonali Biswas said: “Tsunami is the darling of the camp. We are all taking care of her.” But the mother, who sustained facial injuries, wept. “My six-year-old son Saurav was left behind in Hut Bay. I don’t know how is he. Please help me. Please give me my baby.”

Aid workers have so far failed to reunite mother and older child.

“Saurav has been traced to a shelter on Hut Bay but no formal attempts have been made so far to reunite him with his newly-born sister Tsunami,” a naval official said.