Colombo, Dec 26 (AdaDerana) – The Disaster Management Center (DMC) says that two minutes silence will be observed across the island at 9.25 a.m. today (26) to commemorate all those who lost their lives in the 2004 tsunami.
Today marks the 17th anniversary of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, one of the world’s deadliest and most destructive natural disasters, struck over 10 countries in the Indian Ocean.
A powerful undersea megathrust earthquake, which registered a magnitude of 9.1, struck off the coast of Sumatra Island, Indonesia on a Sunday morning, 26th of December 2004.
About 20 minutes after the shock, Indonesia’s capital Banda Aceh, which was closest to the epicentre of the earthquake, was devastated by massive 100-foot waves, claiming the lives of more than 100,000.
A series of turbulent waves then ravaged the coasts of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Maldives, Myanmar and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
In all, deaths from the disaster mounted over 230,000 in a matter of hours.
Sri Lanka was one of the hardest-hit countries with over 40,000 fatalities and property damage worth several million rupees. Thousands were left homeless as waves pushed debris several kilometres inland, pounding buildings into rubble.
December 26 was designated as National Safety Day every year by a Cabinet Memorandum of 2005 to commemorate the victims of the 2004 Tsunami Disaster.
Accordingly, National Safety Day is celebrated annually on December 26 with the main theme of remembering the victims of the tsunami and other disasters.
The national ceremony will commence at 9.00 a.m. this morning near the Peraliya Tsunami Memorial in Galle District with the participation of tri-forces personnel, the police and general public while the DMC requests all citizens across the island to observe two-minute silence from 9.25 a.m. to 9.27 a.m. in remembrance of all Sri Lankans who lost their lives due to the tsunami and other disasters.