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Natural Disasters in Sri Lanka
By: Pon Kulendiren
When you look back at the history of natural disasters in Sri Lanka one will be surprised to know that the island is located in a dangerous position not far away from the two fault lines, one in Indian Ocean and the other in the Bay of Bengal. The volcanic mountain named Karakatoa located in the Sunda strait near Sumatara erupted on 27th August 1887 at 10.00 am, generated a massive 40 meters tidal waves which killed more than 36450 people. At 1.30pm on the same day the waves hit Pothuvil, Panama, Hambantota, Galle in southeastern coastal towns of Sri Lanka . The mountain is located in unique area at transition between frontal subduction of Indian-Australian plate and Eurasia plate to the south of Java and oblique subduction to the west of Sumatra. The recent Tsunami originated by the undersea earthquake on the northern tip of this fault line has again hit Sri Lanka. It is incorrect to say that Sri Lanka is free from natural disasters like Cyclone, Tsunamis, Floods and Earth slides etc. History has its records. In December 1964 tidal wave caused by cyclone which ripped through Northern part of Sri Lanka wiped out Dhanuskodi in Rameswaram Island from the map. A passenger train which left Rameswaram Road station near about the midnight of 22nd was washed off by the storm surges sometimes later, nearly all passengers traveling in the train meeting water graves. The Pamban bridge connecting Mandapam and Rameswaram island was also washed away by the storm surges which could be 3-5 meters high. One time Sri Lanka and India were one piece of land. It is the tidal waves caused by earthquakes that formed the islands near Puttalam and also around Jaffna Peninsula. Now a question is paused whether the Sedhu Samudram...
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