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S Mariappan: Man who helped 33 girls, displaced by Tsunami, become football champ

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

The second largest earthquake in terms of magnitude to rock the planet was the Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake that caused the 2004 Christmas Tsunami, killing almost 2.5 lakh people inhabiting the coastal regions of Indian Ocean. In India around 12,000 people lost their lives and 6.5 lakh were displaced.

The country united to mend the damage but nobody really believed that the survivors could ever emerge from their trauma as happens in the case of disasters. At best they could be self sustaining, in a hand to mouth way, but never the representatives of their fellow men and women.

But out of the statistical figure of 6.5 lakh displaced tsunami survivors, petrifying even in its mathematical dullness, a group of 33 young women from Tamil Nadu has shown the nation that human strength, love and caring is mightier than the nature’s wrath.

According to S Mariappan, a retired headmaster and the girls’ father now, he saw them first at the government school in Cuddalore where he used to teach and decided to adopt them realizing their need for help.

Mariappan, a trained football coach and a former member of Indian Football team, decided to impart his skill to the girls and today, he says, his dream has come true. Nine of the girls have gone on to become members of the national teams for seniors, Under-18 and Under-16 and have made their college, St Joseph’s College in Cuddalore, three-time all India inter-university football champion.

A man like Mariappan is hard to find in today’s world. He spends his Rs.35,000 pension on the girls while the rest of their expenses are covered by the college and the locals. Mariappan’s unconditional love for his kids matters more than what the deadly 30 ft high waves of saline water ever did to them.

Mariappan gave his girls the possibility to dream again, he showed them how to live again, how to win again, after they had lost tragically at a tender age. If Indhumathi today dreams to make it to the Olympics and Asian Games, it is because she knows her father, S. Mariappan is with her as he has always been.

Next Story

Chile Survives Through Major Quake With Little Damage

Chile is located along the so-called Ring of Fire, which makes it one of the most seismic countries in the world.

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Chile
Boats lifted by an earthquake-triggered tsunami sit on a dock, in Coquimbo, Chile, Sept. 18, 2015. A magnitude 6.7 quake struck the city Jan. 19, 2018, but no tsunami was generated. VOA

A 6.7-magnitude earthquake has shaken cities on Chile’s northern coast. No damages have been reported so far, but Chile’s National Emergency Office ordered a preventative evacuation of a stretch of coast near the city of Coquimbo.

Chilean authorities said the quake didn’t have the characteristics that would generate a tsunami. The U.S. Tsunami Warning System also ruled out a tsunami.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter of the magnitude-6.7 quake was 15.6 kilometers (9.7 miles) south-southwest of Coquimbo, and had a depth of 53 kilometers. It struck at 7:32 p.m. local time.

Chile
Earthquake epicenter

A witness told Reuters there was minor damage to older buildings and power outages in the nearby coastal city of La Serena, a popular beach town about 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of Santiago.

“It felt very strong … the tourists were very nervous, but nothing serious happened,” Camila Castillo, a receptionist at a hotel in La Serena, told Reuters.

Chilean miner Antofagasta Plc said operations were normal at its Los Pelambres copper mine following the nearby earthquake.

Also Read: Amazon.com In Talks With Chile To Create A Ground For Developing Artificial Intelligence

Chile is located along the so-called Ring of Fire, which makes it one of the most seismic countries in the world.Chile is located along the so-called Ring of Fire, which makes it one of the most seismic countries in the world. An 8.8-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami in 2010 killed 525 people. (VOA)