Ilankai Tamil Sangam
Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA
OSU Professor, Wife Reportedly Killed By Tsunami
Professor Sundaralingam received the Sangam's Honorary Award at our Annual General Meeting this past November.
Massive Waves Hit Sri Lanka's Coast
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An Ohio State University professor and his wife were reportedly among those who died after a tsunami crashed into the coast of Sri Lanka, NBC 4's Holly Hollingsworth reported.
The tsunamis, or massive tidal waves, killed at least 22,000 people in 10 countries, including Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia. The tsunamis were created after a massive earthquake developed under the Indian Ocean.
Professor Muttaiya Sundaralingam, known by his Ohio State colleagues simply as Sunda, was vacationing with his wife, Indrani, in Sri Lanka.
On Sunday, other Sri Lankan families in Columbus received word that the couple, in their 70s, were among those killed. Friends who were fellow members of a Sri Lankan social group got the news in a Sunday morning e-mail, Hollingsworth reported.
"They were vacationing," said Ranjan Manoranjan, who was a friend of the victims. "They were at the beach when this happened. Outside the hotel. So, just completely wiped out."
The professor and his wife apparently never stood a chance of survival, Hollingsworth reported, especially considering a fact that was shared by his colleagues at Ohio State.
"Sunda had been sick recently, so he was actually in a wheelchair," said Prabir Dutta, chairman of the Ohio State Department of Chemistry. "The thing that kept going through my mind yesterday is, you know, that he must have felt so trapped. Because he can't run. He can't get out of there."
Sundaralingam taught mostly graduate students at Ohio State and was a world-renowned biochemist, Hollingsworth reported. He joined Ohio State as an emminent scholar in 1989.
Though he retired in 2001, he was still involved in DNA research, publishing an article in the journal Biochemistry just this month.
The professor's daughter and son-in-law, who live in Columbus, also were vacationing in Sri Lanka, but they were about 100 miles inland at the time of the disaster and survived.
The local Sri Lankan social group is asking that donations to assist in relief efforts be sent to the International Relief Foundation.
Posted December 28, 2004