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Many tsunami warning towers inoperative as SL marks Boxing Day Tsunami

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A two minutes’ silence will be observed island-wide today (26 December) on National Safety Day from 9.25 a.m. to 9.27 a.m. in memory of all who lost their lives in the 2004 tsunami and other natural disasters in Sri Lanka, the Disaster Management Center (DMC) said. 

Meanwhile the DMC says a new programme to raise awareness about tsunami dangers will commence from today in view of the National Safety Day.

The Director General of Disaster Management Centre, Major General (Retd) Sudantha Ranasinghe said the relevant awareness programme will be carried out by using a caller tune ringtone for mobile phones.

Exactly 19 years ago on Dec. 26, 2004, a massive tsunami wreaked havoc after a powerful earthquake off the coast of Sumatra Island, Indonesia. The disaster, later known as the Boxing Day Tsunami, has since been written down in history as one of the world’s deadliest and most destructive natural disasters in recent times, impacting over 10 countries.

In Sri Lanka, tens of thousands lost their lives while thousands more were left homeless after the debris and waves reduced their homes to mere rubble.

57 of 77 tsunami warning towers in SL, inoperative!

Meanwhile, the state owned ‘Daily News’ reports that according to the Disaster Management Centre, 57 of the 77 tsunami warning towers built in the coastal areas are currently inoperative.

After the 2004 tsunami, two towers were built in the Colombo district, five towers in the Gampaha, six towers in the Kalutara, eight towers in the Galle, seven towers in the Matara, nine towers in the Hambantota, four towers in the Puttalam, eight towers in the Ampara seven towers in the Batticaloa seven towers in the Trincomalee, three towers in Mannar six towers in the Mullaitivu and five towers in the Jaffna district.

Eleven towers can be operated from the Disaster Management Centre and another nine towers are at the level where they can be operated manually after going to the relevant location.

However, the number of towers that cannot be operated is close to 57. The technology for this has been provided by the American Signal Corporation, the report adds.

The news report further notes :

After the construction, steps have been taken to upgrade the towers on several occasions, but it has been revealed according to the information obtained through the Right to Information Act that the technology of the towers are now outdated.

During an inquiry in this regard, an officer of the Disaster Management Center said that non-operational tsunami warning towers using satellite technology have been handed over to the Military, Police and Civil Defence Department for operationalization if necessary.

He also said that the coordination activities will be done by the Disaster Management Centre.

The official said that the satellite technology is not available for the tsunami warning towers as the relevant satellite has been removed from use. He also said that tsunami warnings can be relayed faster with modern communication methods.

(Excerpts : Daily News)

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CID investigates blackmail case involving actress and ex-boyfriend

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The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) informed Colombo Chief Magistrate Prasanna Alwis that they have launched an investigation into a complaint by a popular actress. 

The actress alleged that her ex-boyfriend, currently residing abroad, blackmailed her by threatening to publish nude photos online unless she transferred money to him.

The CID stated that the actress and her boyfriend were in a relationship for about four years, and after her rise to fame, she ended the relationship. 

The ex-boyfriend retaliated by threatening to publish nude photos, prompting the actress to transfer money to prevent the act. 

The CID requested permission to obtain reports on the relevant bank accounts, and the Magistrate granted the request, instructing the CID to complete the investigation and report its findings to the Court.

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Google maps error leads drunken men to scale wall of ‘Temple Trees’

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Two individuals who scaled the wall of ‘Temple Trees,’ the official residence of the Prime Minister in Colombo, have cited a Google Maps error for their presence within the highly fortified premises. 

The suspects, aged 28, claimed that they were following Google Maps directions to their rented residence on Muhandiram Road when the route ended near a large wall.

According to their confession, after having drinks at a bar in Kollupitiya, they believed their residence was on the other side of the wall and decided to scale it. 

Officers of the Prime Minister’s Security Division apprehended the individuals, subsequently handing them over to the Kollupitiya Police.

The suspects, one working as a software engineer and the other as a merchant seaman, were released on Police bail. They are scheduled to appear in court on March 14. 

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SL wins 1st T20I by 3 runs

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Sri Lanka won the 1st T20I match against Bangladesh by 03 runs, after a thrilling game.

Winning the toss, Bangladesh invited the visitors to bat first, where the visiting Sri Lankans scored 206/3 before limiting the Bangladesh team to 203/8.

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