Lessons learned help Sri Lanka face latest tsunami scare
23 Apr 2012 10:03
By Amantha Perera
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, (AlertNet) - The details of the tragic mistake seven years back are still indelible in Goyum Prabath’s mind. It was the morning of December 26, 2004, and the young man from Sri Lanka’s Matara District witnessed a peculiar tide change.
“It kept going back, really far,” Prabath told AlertNet, “then suddenly the waves would reach the road that ran near the beach. There is a belief here that on the day of the church festival, the tide changes like this. We all thought it was that.”
That was a big mistake. The abnormal tide was the forerunner to a devastating tsunami that crashed into the coastal areas of Sri Lanka. The 2004 tsunami left over 35,000 dead and over a million displaced, some 150,000 without jobs, over 100,000 houses destroyed and a reconstruction bill of over $3 billion.
No warning was issued, nor was there was there any system in place to send one.
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