Traditional alert 'saved Andaman tribes'
Indigenous people on the Andaman and Nicobar islands are thought to have escaped the 26 December tsunami thanks to traditional warning systems that interpret bird and marine animal behaviour.
According to the director of the Anthropological Survey of India, V. R. Rao, no casualties have been reported among five tribes – the Jarwas, Onges, Shompens, Sentenelese and Great Andamanese. He believes this is because the tribal people fled for safety at the first indications — such as changes in bird calls — that something was wrong.
According to a related BBC Online news story, wildlife officials in Sri Lanka reported that despite the large loss of human life, there were no reported animal deaths. It is thought that animals moved to safer ground having sensed vibrations or changes in air pressure in advance of the waves' arrival.