The following quote in a recent article by a Sri Lankan disaster management expert in the government newspaper caught my attention: There was a time gap of nearly three hours between the time Indonesia was affected and the time that Sri Lanka was affected and also the coastline was hit by the wave at different times. Even within Sri Lanka, the Eastern shores were hit first, which gradually spread to North, South and finally the West. The country simply did not have an early warning and dissemination system. This was the first I had heard anyone in government admit even indirectly that many lives could have been saved if the government had communicated to the media the information it received from the Navy and STF on the East Coast. I thank the writer for that.
The Presidential Commission on the Tsunami has been holding public hearings. LIRNEasia and Vanguard Foundation gave evidence last week, 14th of July 2005. Our evidence mostly covered the content and process of the NEWS:SL report, but in addition evidence was given of our experience with the 28th of March event and the earlier difficulties we experienced with the Met Department’s fax numbers not working and e-mail addresses given to Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaai bouncing. The Navy and the Police are being questioned on who knew what when. It looks like the Commission is pursuing an interesting line of investigation.