Evacuation underway in NorthEast coastal areas
[TamilNet, Monday, 28 March 2005, 18:49 GMT]
As a precautionary measure to avoid a possible tsunami from a 8.2 richter scale aftershock near Sumatra, LTTE units are evacuating coastal village residents and refugees in transit camps to higher grounds, sources said. FM radio and TV stations continued to provide updates on the quake that hit Sumatra Monday at 16.10 hrs GMT. Temple bells in almost all villages were rung alerting people to evacuate.
Few residents remain within 1000 meters from the shores in Vadamaradchy East, Mullaitivu, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Amparai.
"We are going to coastal villages in the northern parts of Batticaloa to organise emergency evacuations in a systematic way to prevent confusion", Mr. S. Jeyanandamoorthy, Tamil National Alliance MP for the area told TamilNet.
However, there have been instances during the last several weeks when refugees in welfare centers have fled inland to highground hearing rumors of an impending tsunami.
Sri Lankan Military Commander in Jaffna, Major General Sunil Tennakoon told media that they have alerted people in SLA controlled areas of Jaffna.
People in Mattakalulya, Colombo are also being evacuated by the Sri Lankan Army, sources in Colombo said.
US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) is advising evacuation for 1000 km around the site. Sri Lanka is nearly 1600 km from the epicenter of the aftershock.
Opposition leader Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe told a local TV station that media in Sri Lanka has done a wonderful job in quickly alerting people.