Prayers, silence mark tsunami anniversary
Prayers meetings and a two-minute nation-wide silence marked the sixth anniversary of the devastating Boxing Day tsunami that killed thousands and rendered many more homeless in Sri Lanka.india Updated: Dec 26, 2010 23:34 IST
Prayers meetings and a two-minute nation-wide silence marked the sixth anniversary of the devastating Boxing Day tsunami that killed thousands and rendered many more homeless in Sri Lanka.
The killer wave, which originated off the Indonesian coast, first struck the east coast of Sri Lanka at around 9-25 a.m. on December 26, in 2004. Before the waves receded, more than 35000 people were swept away. Another 500000 lost their homes and livelihood. An estimated 100000 houses were destroyed in the disaster that even flooded parts of Colombo on the west coast.
Towns and villages dotting the north-eastern, eastern and southern coasts were worst hit; entire villages and populations were swept away.
Areas which were under the control of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) were completely cut off for a while after the tragedy.
In Galle, in southern Sri Lanka, a train moving along the coastline was swept away and deposited inland. The partly-restored Queen of the Sea, the southern coastal line train that got swept away by the killer waves, made a symbolic journey this morning to the station near the spot where more than 1,700 passengers on the train died.
Earlier this week, the government declared December 26 as the National Safety Day to promote a culture of preparedness among the communities for disasters and to commemorate the people who lost their lives due to all natural disasters.
The main event to mark the National Safety Day was held a this morning in the Weerasingham Hall in the northern city of Jaffna which was attended by Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratna.
Post-tsunami, the government has taken the initiatives to set up an early warning network with 100 warning towers island wide.50 tsunami warning centers have already been set up throughout the coastal areas of the country which also includes setting up of fire units under local government authorities.