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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 1589

Tsunami as a part of a Life: Sri Lankan Experience

By Nalin Abeysekera

The Date was 11th April 2012.The time was around 1415 local time in Sri Lanka. I was stunned by the shake. However again I thought that was something came from the body. But after 15-25 minutes, news came across the media that a powerful 8.6 magnitude earthquake and strong aftershocks struck off Indonesia.

The US Geological Survey said the first 8.6-magnitude quake was a shallow 22 kilometers (14 miles), hitting in the sea 270 miles (435 kilometers) from Aceh's provincial capital. Sri Lanka issued a countrywide tsunami warning asking residents in the coastal belt to move to higher ground.

Now the preparation has to be started. We need to move from our homes. Next is packing... You can’t move all items. This is the time you need to put your life first. What are the most valuables?

For me it was my computer! We came to road in Panadura( a city on the western coast of Sri Lanka, south of Colombo),Sri Lanka. Roads were blocked. It was full of people and traffic. No any road rules has been followed it seems. People wanted to evacuate as soon as possible. And all wanted to leave in same time.

Fortunately courtesy of Tsunami grills (prior preparations) done once in every three months, people were rushed to some safe areas which will be not affected by the waves. It was 1800 hours and Sri Lanka lifted tsunami warnings .

Again back to (sweet) home. Again should undo all which were packed. My Son (4years) asking many questions. I browsed internet and showed him what has happened to Sri Lanka in 2004.Even I told him it will be there in their study books in the future(if Sri Lankan education system reforms )Then I started to continue my work as I stopped. Life is like that.

I think now we have to get used to these conditions. It is all about assimilated to the establishment. Tsunami is bit new. But I don’t know whether it will become a part of life in the future. In Facebook(FB) we have seen some updated messages, alerts while some are praying. Following are some messages which has been exchanged in FB.

May there is no harm for my country from Tsunami with the blessings of triple gem.

May there is no harm for my country from Tsunami with the blessings of the sacred tooth relic.

May there is no harm for my country from Tsunami with the blessings of the Jaya Siri Maha Boodhi.

May there is no harm for my country from Tsunami with the blessings of god.

By the time there were some jokes by related to this as well. This can be considered as Tsunami literature (discourses) of FB(good area for research)!

But still (by 2053 hours,11.04.2012) people living in coastal area are not fully established. By 13th they have to celebrate the Sinhala Tamil New Year. They will do that. I can recall even last year one professor had predicted five earthquakes in the month of April. That also in the time of same new year.

But the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said that there was no tsunami threat in Sri Lanka.

Even one news item in 15th April 2011 stated that according to DMC certain individuals are spreading false rumors of a tsunami threat to the island. And police was informed regarding individuals spreading such bogus rumors in order to apprehend them, it said. Anyway nothing has happened in 2011.But people lived with fear on those days.

This time also we experienced the same. So the message is clear.This is all about the message of “Live and get used to Tsunami”.

- Asian Tribune -

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