Expert Committee Report Of Tremors In Kandy Submitted




Anura Walpola, Chairman of the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau handing over the report to the Minister. Also in the picture are Director General of the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau Sajjana de Silva, Geologist Nalin de Silva and Senior Seismologist Nilmini Thaldena.



The Expert Committee appointed to investigate into the recent tremors in Kandy, strongly recommends continuous long-term monitoring programme should be established at the earliest as several tremors have occurred in the same region during a short period of time.

Expert report was handed over to Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday. Ministry Secretary, Dr. Anil Jasinghe and Chairman GSMB Anura Walpola was also present at the occasion. The tremor affected Aluthwatte, Ambakote, Digana, Maialapitiya, Anuragama and Haragama areas in the Kandy District on November 18. The team comprised of Senior Seismologist Ms. Nilmini Thaldena, Senior Geologist   Mahinda Seneviratne, Geologist Mahasen Wickramaratne, Seismologist  Jayanath Herath, Seismologist Ms. Uthpala Ratnayake and trainee Seismologist Ms. Sachintha Weeranayake.

The report said that although limestone is abundant in the area, it is not possible to attribute the tremors to limestone quarrying, but further scientific research is needed, regardless of suggestions or comments. Minister Amaraweera said that a comprehensive programme would be launched for the protection of not only Victoria Reservoir but all reservoirs and that he did not intend to say that there would not be a strong earthquake as there are currently minor tremors. However, the Minister further stated that the expert report has pointed out that the dam of the Victoria Reservoir has not been affected due to the recent earthquake.

The Expert Committee has made the following recommendations which should be implemented immediately for the safety of the reservoirs and the public in the area. A continuous long-term monitoring programme should be established as soon as possible as several tremors have occurred in the same region in a short period of time.

A proposal for such a programme is presented in detail. Therefore, the recommendations and suggestions made in that report should be established within a short period of time. Very few reports of structural cracks and enlargement of houses have been reported after this incident.

As previously recommended, the structural rupture monitoring process, mainly related to dolomite mining in the Aluthwatta area, has been described and the recommendation made in the final report submitted to the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau in this regard should also be taken into consideration. Provide a format for recording incidents reported to selected persons in the area, mainly students. Provide immediate distance training to students on the process. A team of geologists should be immediately empowered to compile a detailed geological / structural map. This survey is extended to re-evaluate the observations made during the strip survey with the required geological applications..

It is important to assess the depth of the origin of this case in order to draw conclusions about the potential threat to an area. Therefore, the necessary external assistance will be obtained to preserve this objective. Temporary deployment of short-term sensors is the correct approach and steps should be taken to expedite the work with a detailed proposal.Taking steps to activate the Accelerometer and seismograph  with data connection to the Bureau’s National Data Center, especially in the Victoria Dam reservoir structures.