Sri Lanka lifts tsunami alert | world | Hindustan Times
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Sri Lanka lifts tsunami alert

world Updated: Sep 13, 2007 01:24 IST

The Sri Lankan government lifted a tsunami warning for its coastal line several hours after issuing it on Wednesday afternoon following a powerful earthquake off the western coast of Indonesia.

Chief officer KP Dharmaratne of the Meteorological Department said that the alert was lifted at 8.30 pm local time (1500 GMT).

"The people who left their homes near coastal areas could now go back safely," said Dharmaratne.

The government in an earlier statement urged the people living close to the coastline in the northern, southern and southwestern coasts of Sri Lanka to stay away from the coastline and move into safer areas.

People in coastal areas who went inland seeking safety were now returning to their homes, police said late in the evening.

Two-thirds of Sri Lanka's coastal line was devastated in the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which killed over 30,000 people and left nearly a million homeless in the island country.