NEW DELHI: An enormous anthropological disaster is in the making. The killer tsunami is feared to have wiped out entire tribes — already threatened by their precariously small numbers — perhaps rendering them extinct and snapping the slender tie with a lost generation.
Officials involved in rescue operations are pessimistic, but still keeping their fingers crossed for the Sentinelese and Nicobarese, the two tribes seen as bearing the brunt of the killer wave.
The bigger fear is for the Sentinelese, anthropologically the most important tribe, living on the flat North Sentinel Island. Putting their population at about 100, officials say no body count is possible as the tribe had remained isolated. The Nicobarese, numbering about 25,000, are also feared to have suffered major losses, if not near -extinction. Clustered in 12 villages along the coast of Car Nicobar, the worst affected, it is feared nearly half of them could have been engulfed by the giant wave.
Then there are the Chowra and Teresa islands, mostly inhabited by the Nicobarese. Chowra has reported 38 deaths from a total population of 1,500. Here, too, the picture is hazy. The Onges, living on the Little Andaman island, are expected to fare a little better. So far, 14 deaths have been reported from the island. Some of these would be Onges. To begin with, they just number a 100.
and the source...
Both Facinating and Sad.
UPDATE - 5 Jan 2005 -
Looks like some of the indigenous people survived.