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Car Nicobar camouflages its tsunami destruction behind a veil of stunning beauty. Its tree-lined shore borders a frothy blue arc of the Bay of Bengal where dolphins leap and sea gulls soar over delectable hues of blue and green waters.

Draw closer and what lies beyond the facade is a breathtaking wasteland of ruin. Mile after mile of what was once picturesque tribal land now lies ravaged by the fury of the December 26 tsunami. Blackened trees piled in gigantic heaps, flattened villages, damaged churches. The lone football ground resembles a marshland.

"That pink building was our movie theatre, and that one there... was our school," Cecilia, a student aboard the ship M V Sentinel, had said while returning from Port Blair after appearing for her class X exam.

Text and photograph: Archana Masih; Design: Dominic Xavier

Earlier in the series: IAF air base arises out of tsunami wreckage

Complete coverage: Waves of Destruction

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