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The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) has called for the conducting of systematic pre-disaster assessment and awareness programmes in Sri Lanka.

Director of Mitigation, Research and Development of the DMC, Anoja Senevirathne told Nation that no detailed pre-disaster assessment, in terms of the assessment of the risk of the country facing a potential earthquake, had not been done or conducted in the country so far.

“Such assessments must be done in a systematic way as otherwise it would create unnecessary fears. State institutions are responsible for conducting awareness programmes on earthquake resistance,” she said.

However, she said that the probability of Sri Lanka facing such a situation was less, adding that the country was not vulnerable due to the fact that our region was intraplate and that we were in the middle of the major Indo-Australian and Eurasian tectonic plates and not on the plate boundary.

She pointed out that three related researches, one by the University of Peradeniya to identify zonation, based on which the University of Moratuwa has done one on how to construct buildings, the findings of which the DMC uses when issuing preliminary licenses based  on the percentage point of ground acceleration especially for the hotel sector and another by the National Building Research Organization on liquefaction have been done.

“Coastal construction and projects like the Colombo Port City have impacts on the wave patterns. In the upcountry and highland areas where there are big reservoirs, there are fractures and joints in the hard rock,” she added.