Packed buses in Ratmalana. Photos by Indika Sriyan.
I think Sri Lanka reacted quite well to the tsunami threat this time, but there’s still a cost. Though the tsunami warning has been lifted, traffic seems to have gotten messed up, with everyone trying to get home. Some people have kindly tweeted to offer rides or suggest tuk-sharing, but it’s more of the usual choke. With the Galle Road kinda off limits Duplication is choked, and they’ve opened up the Southern Expressway for free. Things still seem to be a mess.
They said there were some 8-inch high tides in Trinco, washing away some boats, but thankfully nothing more severe.
U.S. PTWC cancels tsunami watch for Indian Ocean, India & Sri Lanka lift tsunami alert & public can return to homes but not to sea #srilanka
— Daily Mirror (@DMbreakingnews) April 11, 2012
Natural disasters, death – if they don’t hit you, you feel it through the traffic. My web traffic, for example, has spiked to over twice the usual, over 2,700 visits so far. War and natural disasters are always good for business. Le sigh. I remember during the war, when there was a suicide bombing the phone lines and roads would choke as everyone tried to get or call home. It’s happened now.
Queue for the highway buses in Maharagama.twitpic.com/98hg2g
— Thameera Senanayaka (@thameera) April 11, 2012
Avurudu (New Year) holidays start tomorrow and the roads are atypically empty these days, but when people felt the earthquake and got the tsunami warning, everyone wanted to get home. I think offices released transport early, but all the meter tuks and cabs seem to be booked. People are walking and trying to hail or busing it, which won’t be fun. Personally, I think the best thing to do in these situations is lie down on the floor and sleep, but people still seem to prefer space travel to time travel.
Anyways, I still pray that this isn’t premature. The last tsunami was a horror. Like Gayan tweeted:
Can’t really think of a proper Tsunami joke till the turbulence subsides. Keep remembering the face of a friend of mine who died last time.
— Gayan Wijewickrama (@GayanMW) April 11, 2012
The tsunami warning has officially been lifted, but we’re not out of the woods till at best 7, perhaps later. I guess never, since there’s always a tectonic threat. People reacted this time because we’ve all lived through a tsunami, but in time people will forget. Inshallah there’ll be a bit more of an organized response then.
Till then, however, lucky us, and wiser us for not pushing our luck. My best to you and yours, and may everyone be safe these holidays.