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Study: Indian Ocean region vulnerable to massive tsunamis


Colombo (Sept 11, 2014): A study says that Sri Lanka and much of the Indian Ocean region is vulnerable to massive earthquakes and Tsunamis. The resulting Tsunami maybe even bigger than the 2004 magnitude 9.2 Sumatra earthquake.

More than 200,000 people were killed in the Dec 26, 2004 Sumatra earthquake which resulted in a trans-oceanic tsunami.

Researchers said that the accumulation of stress in the region could generate as large, or even larger tsunamis than the one that resulted from the Sumatra earthquake.

For the study, the researchers collected and analysed 22 sediment cores - materials trapped within are scanned to re-construct past ocean conditions - from Karagan Lagoon, Hambantota in south-eastern Sri Lanka, to examine the historical record of giant earthquakes along the Sumatra-Andaman subduction zone, where the Indo-Australian plate and Eurasian plate meet.

Kelly Jackson, lead author from the University of Miami (UM) in the US, says that these results are very important to better understand the tsunami hazard in Sri Lanka.

Professor of geophysics at UM, Falk Amelung said, ''A scary result is a 1,000-year time period without a tsunami, which is nearly twice as long as the lull period prior to the 2004 earthquake.''

The study appeared online in the journal Geology.


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