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Friday, Sep 14, 2007
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Most vendors and fishermen had a sleepless night
Back to work: Fishermen mending their nets at Nochikuppam in Chennai on Thursday.
CHENNAI: Leisure and business were back to normal on the Marina Beach on Thursday, a day after a general tsunami alert was issued, leading people to move out of the area. Snacks stalls, trinket sellers and tourists returned to the beach while flute sellers hawked their wares and swimmers took a dip in the ocean.
Members of the public started trickling in, shaking fears and enjoying their usual fresh air along the sands.
Most of the vendors and members of the fishing community however, spent a sleepless night on Wednesday wondering if it would be business as usual tomorrow.
“We thought we would lose everything. I left the stall as it was and went away,” said a snack stall-owner, who preferred anonymity. Some wheeled their shops to safer locations, but most on the beach had to leave their shops and leave the area.
“I was worried all night. But what could we do? We have to save our lives first,” said M. Amudha, tapioca chips seller said. She was one of the first on the beach early on Thursday morning to check if her cart was safe.
Weaving nets and taking their boats out to sea, the fishermen resumed their routine. Though they had been asked to evacuate the area on Wednesday evening, most of them remained in their dwelling units near the beach. “We watched the water. We decided to leave if it seemed dangerous. But nothing happened, so we stayed at home,” S. Sathish, a fisherman, said.
Though worried about their boats, they had no choice but to leave them and go. Many watched the news to check if another warning was issued and on finding none, headed out to the sea, another fisherman S. Stalin said.
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