Sri Lanka remembers victims of devastating 2004 tsunami

Colombo: Sri Lanka on Monday observed a two-minute silence to remember the victims of the devastating 2004 tsunami.

Traffic movement across most parts of the island nation came to a standstill while employees at public and private institutions stood in silence to commemorate the victims, reports Xinhua news agency.

The two-minute silence was observed from 9.25 a.m. to 9.27 a.m. local time, the time when massive tsunami waves crashed into Sri Lanka killing over 35,000 people in 2004.

The tsunami was triggered by a 9.1-magnitude earthquake off Indonesia on December 26, 2004, with tsunami waves slamming into several countries in the region.

The huge waves mostly hit the northern, southern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka, while some areas in the west suffered minor damages.

In Sri Lanka, December 26 has been designated as the National Safety Day in remembrance of the tsunami and the government organises programs across the country on the day, especially in the areas worst hit by the disaster.

Since the 2004 disaster the South Asian country has installed tsunami warning towers and carried out evacuation drills in order to be better prepared for similar devastating tsunami.

In Sri Lanka, the civilian casualties were second only to those in Indonesia.

The massive tsunami with waves up to 100 ft high, known as the Boxing Day Tsunami after the Boxing Day holiday, devastated communities along the surrounding coasts of the Indian Ocean, killing an estimated 227,898 people in 14 countries in one of one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history.

The direct results caused major disruptions to living conditions and commerce in coastal provinces of surrounded countries, including Aceh (Indonesia), Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu and Khao Lak (Thailand).

Banda Aceh reported the largest number of deaths.

The earthquake was the third-largest ever recorded, the largest in the 21st century and had the longest duration of faulting ever observed, between eight and ten minutes.

Tremors were felt as far away as Alaska.


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