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Cablegate: Sri Lanka: Sit-Rep On the Tsunami Watch

VZCZCXRO5415
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI
DE RUEHLM #1262 2551309
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 121309Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6803
INFO RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK IMMEDIATE 3277
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA IMMEDIATE 0603
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI IMMEDIATE 1360
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI IMMEDIATE 7991
RUEHCI/AMCONSUL KOLKATA IMMEDIATE 0359
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI IMMEDIATE 5632
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS COLOMBO 001262

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CASC AEMR PREL PHUM CE
SUBJECT: SRI LANKA: SIT-REP ON THE TSUNAMI WATCH

1. Following local and international media reports of a
tsunami watch issued by the Pacific Center, Embassy issued

SIPDIS
the following warden message at 6:17 p.m. local time: "7.9
earthquake reported in Indonesia. Tsunami watch issued for
the Indian Ocean, including Sri Lanka. People in coastal
areas should monitor local media. Embassy will send a
subsequent report if we learn new information."

2. The Sri Lanka Disaster Management Center subsequently
advised all people living in the North, South and East
coastal areas to move away from the coasts. As a result,
Embassy issued a second warden message at 6:32 p.m. stating:
"Local reported SRL Met Dep say if there is a tsunami, it may
reach Sri Lanka between 8-8:30. They say people living in
coastal areas advised to evacuate."

3. Ambassador also contacted Presidential Secretary (NSA
equivalent) Lalith Weeratunga who was not aware of the
tsunami watch, but appreciated the call. USAID is seeking to

SIPDIS
contact the Sri Lanka Disaster Management Center to discuss
its efforts to warn people of the potential danger and
ascertain what further measures may be required.

4. All Embassy personnel have been accounted for. Embassy
will hold an Emergency Action Committee meeting at 7:00 p.m.
local time.
BLAKE

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