Children in Kilinochchi have few places to run when the bombing and shelling starts - they are particularly vulnerable during and after an attack and many are left shaken from the experience.
"For the past days, the artillery shells have been landing less than 2km (1.24 miles) from my house," says fruit seller V Laxmee. "I am in deep shock. I cannot sleep at night due to the noise and the fear."
Throughout Kilinochchi, people have made rudimentary bunkers outside homes and public areas. Day or night, a jet might come and bomb them. Although basic, bunkers do provide some protection.
"We could hear the shrapnel landing everywhere, all around," said Siva, a labourer. "We hid inside the bunker as we saw the plane turn and strike again. When we got out, our houses were destroyed."
Civilians protested against aid agencies evacuating from Kilinochchi. Most understood why they had to leave, but feared their departure would mean an escalation of the war, with no international witnesses.
Children's education has been severely disrupted by continual running between the classroom and bunker. Nearly half of the children in the Vanni are now displaced, having to share overcrowded schools.