With great courage and humility, K. Pasupathi recounted to me his amazing tsunami survivor story that happened in December of 2004.
“The tsunami waves reached to the top of that lighthouse.” K. Pasupathi pointed out as he shared his courageous Tsunami survivor story of how he survived the infamous tsunami of December 26, 2004.
He said it was a typical pretty day when he and several of his successful friends were on the beach in Karaikal, Pondicherry, India, playing tennis together when he heard what he described as running water pouring from a faucet coming from the ocean. He stopped and looked out to the sea and noticed the water quickly rising, his feet were already underwater before he realized what was happening.
He had spent about $1,000 on his tennis racket and hundreds more on the other ones he carried with him. Fearing for his life, he dropped them all and started running as fast as he could from the rising water. He saw a line of trees ahead of him and thought to himself that if he could quickly climb up one of them, he would be safe.
Not realizing the danger they were in, Pasupathi’s friends were far behind him, still gathering their expensive tennis rackets.
He was about to climb up a tree when a scene from the movie,“The Day After Tomorrow” came to mind. It was a scene when the main characters were running from a tidal wave and someone suggested they go into a building that was behind another building for additional protection.
K. Pasupathi looked out at the trees and saw one behind a guest house. He ran over to it, and the moment he jumped up to grab a branch, the water came rushing by. His friends and the other trees that had people in them were tragically washed away. The guest house had protected him. He climbed as high as he could; at his highest point, the water was still touching his feet.
As he sat there in the tree, he saw a boy struggling in the water and drifting by him. He grabbed the boy and pulled him to safety. After the water had gone down a bit, he climbed out of the tree and swam to another tree nearby and climbed that one while holding the boy.
When he finally made it to town, the water in the street was up to his chest. He notified a friend of his in the government about what happened and his friend was able to tell the coast guard. The coast guard went to the beach to look for K. Pasupathi’s friends, but, Pasupathi sadly said to me, “that they were all found dead.”
He told me that for a long time whenever he heard someone turn the water on, the sound of the running water would cause him to panic for a second.
Today was the first day he had been back to this beach. It had been over 5 years and I was fortunate enough to be with him today and hear his tsunami survivor story.
More Photos From My Incredible Trip to India:
- Photos: The Taj Mahal
- Photos: New Delhi & Agra, India – Seats Of Power And Poverty
- Photos: Auroville & Mahabalipuram, India – A Golden Dome and Krishna’s Butterball
- Photos: Puducherry, India – Marriage, Zen, Art, And A Beach
- Photos: Chidambaram, India – A Small Town With A Long History
- Photos: Nagapattinam, India – Beautiful Orphans And A Ring of Fire
- Photos: Velankanni, India – A Small Beach Town With A Famous Basilica
- Photos: Karaikal, India – Meeting Tsunami Survivor K. Pasupathi
- Photos: Kumbakonam, India – Home Life and Fine Silk
- Photos: Mayiladuthurai, Tharangambadi, and Poombuhar, India – First View of the Coast
- Photos: Thanjavur, India – The City of Temples
- Photos: Namakkal, India – All Day Long Celebrations
- Photos: Yercaud, India – Getting Some Time With Nature
- Photos: Coimbatore, India – Small City with Exotic Food
- Photos: Salem, India – From Daily Life to the Pongal Festival
- Photos: Bengaluru, India – The City of Technology and Religion
- Photos: Hosur, India – My First True Taste of India
- Photos: India – Arriving In A Mysterious New Place