Dec 26, Colombo: Sri Lanka Tuesday commemorated the thirteenth anniversary of the deadly Boxing Day tsunami that swept the island in 2004 killing over 35,000 people.
Sri Lanka remembered the thousands of people who lost their lives to the deadly Indian Ocean tsunami that hit the island 13 years ago with a nation-wide two minute silence from 9:25 a.m. to 9:27 a.m. today.
A special religious ceremony will be held at the tsunami memorial at Pereliya, Galle today while the Disaster Management Center has organized religious observances and awareness programs throughout the island today, especially in coastal areas.
The tsunami that was resulted from the Indian Ocean earthquake in Indonesia on December 26, 2004 struck 13 out of 14 coastal districts in the island. The eastern and the southern shores were the most destroyed by the tsunami, which according to statistics, killed 35,322 people and rendered over 500,000 homeless.
The major disaster occurred when the southbound Queen of the Sea (Samudra Devi) train plying along the coastal rail line with around 1500 passengers onboard got washed away by the killer waves near Peraliya area in Hikkaduwa killing all but a few passengers.
The Sri Lankan government has declared December 26 as the National Safety Day to promote a culture of preparedness among the communities for disasters and to commemorate the people who lost their lives due to all natural disasters.