People running from the waves
- photo for The Hindu by Bijoy Ghosh
A section of Marina Beach
But for the Marina and the Cooum, Chennai might have met the fate of Velankanni, coastal town in Nagapattinam district where a large number of people died in Sunday's tsunami, say oceanography experts.
As the Marina has developed 1,200 metres over the years, it served as a buffer, protecting densely populated areas such as Triplicane and Chepauk... In contrast, Foreshore Estate was the worst affected, as the terrain was flat and had no protection...
A fishing boat moored to an electric pole on Kamarajar Salai
- photo for The Hindu by S. R. Raghunathan
Families wait for relief at Srinivasapuram, Foreshore Estate
(link to article) - photo for The Hindu by V. Ganesan
And from Mahabalipuram, just south of Chennai: The Shore Temple Stands Its Ground:
The Shore Temple, photographed a few minutes
after the tsunami struck
Some structures and rocks, perhaps the components a of a complex of which the Shore Temple at Mamallapuram was originally a part, came into view when the sea initially receded from the shoreline before the waves hit back with brute force on December 26, ... The giant waves smashed the groyne wall built in the 1970s and made of big blue metal boulders on the shore, tore down the fence, flooded the lawns and entered the Shore Temple. "The Shore Temple rises from a bedrock and that saved it. ... The waves dislocated the foundation of the bali peetam (sacrificial altar) in front of the Shore Temple. The boat jetty/flight of steps and the miniature shrine and the Varaha sculpture at the basement of the Shore Temple, which were discovered by the ASI between 1990 and 1993, were flooded...