President thanks people for resilience shown after tsunami warning

[March 30, 2005 - 04.30 GMT]


In a special televised statement President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday thanked the civil society, the police and service personnel who assisted with the orderly evacuation of coastal dwellers on Monday night. The President also thanked all the electronic media which helped disseminate the news.

The evacuation became necessary after reports of a massive earthquake measuring 8.7 on the Richter scale off the coast of Sumatra on Monday night, triggered fears of another tsunami hitting the coasts of the island. After the December 26th incident the Government put in place an interim mechanism for disaster preparedness. The personnel of this unit galvanized into activity on Monday night when they learnt of a possible tsunami.

The President told the nation, “we can no longer be complacent and we have to accept Sri Lanka is now disaster prone.” The fear of another tsunami just three months after the first one also vindicates the Government’s policy of creating a safety zone of at least 100 meters in its post-tsunami reconstruction activities, she said.

Sri Lanka’s own Early Warning System will be operational in the near future. Negotiations are underway with the Governments of Japan and France.




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Last Updated Date: March 30, 2005 - 04.30 GMT


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