More than a decade ago in December 2004, a magnitude 9.1 earthquake beneath the surface of the Indian Ocean triggered a devastating Tsunami that wreaked havoc in the coastal regions of South-Asian and Southeast-Asian countries.
The Tsunami claimed more than two lacs lives as India and its neighbouring nations like Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Maldives endured massive damage.
In India, the coastal state of Tamil Nadu was the worst-hit.
On 26 December 2004, the day the Tsunami struck, former Indian cricketer Anil Kumble was enjoying a holiday with his family in Chennai – the city most affected by the calamity.
But, the former skipper luckily survived the disaster as he, coincidentally, flew to his home city Bangalore on the same day, just a few hours before the Tsunami brought the trail of devastation in the city.
In his recent chat with Ravichandran Ashwin, Kumble recalled the entire sequence of events that transpired on that day.
“We were staying at Fisherman’s Cove [in Chennai]. It was my wife and I and our son – just the three of us. My son was about ten months old and we travelled by air. We didn’t want to drive down because it would take six hours and we didn’t want my son to travel that long,” revealed Kumble.”
“We enjoyed the holiday and the day the Tsunami happened, we were leaving, so I was to check out early because we had, I think, a 11.30 flight, so I was to leave at around 9.30 from the hotel.”
The 49-years-old further remarked that he was not even aware when the first wave hit, though he saw lots of people panicking.
“Somehow, you know my wife, kept waking up that night very uneasy. She kept waking me up saying, ‘Look, what’s the time? I’m not feeling well. I’m feeling a bit uneasy.’ So we woke up early, we had a coffee looking at the sea. Everything was calm, it was cloudy,” he added.
“Around 8.30, we went to the breakfast area and as you’re aware, the breakfast area is slightly at an elevation. And we were having breakfast probably when the first wave hit. I was not even aware that this had happened. As we were checking out I saw a young couple in their bathrobes, you know literally drenched, and they were shivering.”
“We could see a lot of people, you know how you see in the movies, where people carry whatever they can and walking with pots and pans, kids on their shoulders and whatever bags they could have,” Kumbled added further.