Hell's work is never done
Surprise. Guess what the tsunami dug up?
Tsunami waters raise landmine fears in Sri Lanka
Thursday, December 30, 2004 Posted: 9:06 AM EST (1406 GMT)
POINT PEDRO, Sri Lanka (Reuters) -- Already haunted by fears of a new tsunami or spread of disease, survivors picking through debris of entire towns to recover corpses at Sri Lanka's northern tip face a new danger -- floating landmines.
Nestled near a border dividing the north between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels, the area around the small fishing village of Point Pedro -- devasted by giant tsunami waves on Sunday -- is now littered with plastic landmines uprooted by floodwaters.
"There are land mines spread all over. Many of them have moved, hundreds are floating," said Sinnathurai Kathiravelpillai, a district medical officer working near Point Pedro.
Mine disposal units estimate there are around one million mines scattered mostly around northern Sri Lanka, a legacy of a bloody two-decade civil war that killed 64,000 people until a ceasefire three years ago.
Landmines here are a part of life. Children grow up around road signs warning them not to play with them. Many areas are still cordoned off by yellow tape and skull and crossbones signs. Some residents hobble past on artificial limbs.
Demining teams, including several from abroad, are working in the north to create safe access for residents and aid convoys and have already cleared tens of thousands of mines.
The force of Sunday's giant waves -- which has killed nearly 23,000 in Sri Lanka and more than 80,000 across Asia and counting -- churned up sand and earth and residents saw hundreds of the mostly plastic devices bobbing on floodwaters.
116,000 dead and counting...and yet one more thing to make this situation suck EVEN MORE...ambient floating LANDMINES that have been randomly deposited in the disaster zone..
posted by Steve @ 7:49:00 PM