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Gampaha Earthquake, 2004


19 December 2004


Gampaha region, Sri Lanka


05:45 UTC (11:45 SLT)


(multiple events)


(multiple events)


(multiple events)


M? 3.2 (media)

Additional Info

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A mild earthquake struck western Sri Lanka, on 19 November 2004 at 11:45 local time. It had a magnitude of M?=3.2 and was felt in many parts of western Sri Lanka.

The quake was strongest in the towns of Gampaha, Ganemulla, Nittambuwa and Wattala. People distinctly felt houses and buildings shaking and some mistook the rumbling noise for that of a supersonic aircraft. Household articles were shaken in the towns of Gampaha, Ganemulla, Kadawatha, Kandana, Katunayake and Nittambuwa. A felt report was received for this earthquake from Pallewela in Gampaha, where the observer felt a mild tremor lasting two seconds that was accompanied by a loud rumbling noise. Most people in the vicinity felt the shock which also shook large freestanding objects. It was also felt by people in the towns of Attanagala, Gampaha, Ganemulla, Ja-Ela, Kadawatha, Kandana, Katunayake, Mirigama, Minuwangoda, Nittambuwa, Seeduwa and Wattala in the Gampaha district of the Western Province. The quake was also felt in the cities of Colombo and Negumbo.

The strongest earthquake in the Colombo area is believed to have occurred in 1615 and caused damage to the city. A strong M5.8 earthquake centred in the Gulf of Mannar also jolted the region in 1938. Another moderate M5.2 tremor in 1993 also centred in the Gulf of Mannar was felt in western Sri Lanka. Earthquakes are rare in Sri Lanka but tremors from distant large earthquakes in the north Indian ocean (1944, 2000, 2001) have been felt in the island. The 1881 Car Nicobar, 1941 Middle Andaman, 2004 Sumatra-Andaman, 2005 Nias-Simuelue Island and 2005 Teresa Island earthquakes were also felt in Sri Lanka.

India Meteorological Department (IMD), Delhi.
02) Macroseismic information has been compiled by the ASC from reports by local media and local NGO personnel.

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Page Updated: 22 Feb 2008 | Website Disclaimer

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