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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