Tremors felt before August 29; News1st investigation finds

Minor tremors had been recorded in Kandy before it was significantly felt before August 29, a News1st investigation has shown.

Tremors were experienced for the second time in a week in the district, sparking accusations against a limestone quarry for prompting the tremors.

“In our seismometers, we observed an unusual wave record at around 2:18 and 6:49 pm yesterday” Wasantha Ehalapitiya, the deputy director of the Victoria Reservoir said.
He, however, insisted that the magnitude of the tremors were below one magnitude – the minimum range to be detected by the reservoir.
Environmentalists point out that the limestone industry must not be allowed to operate in the area due to its sensitive environment.

“It is better to prevent a calamity from taking place rather than lamenting after it has taken place,” Athula Senaratne, a senior professor at the Peradeniya University stressed.
He pointed out that limestone slabs in Kandy are thin and urged that the industry be encourage to operate in Matale in which the environment is condusive.
“…we can come across 3 kilometres wide and 100-kilometre long limestone slabs that have a massive depth,” Senaratne pointed out.
Individuals in the limestone industry have refuted claims that blasting at the site had led to the tremors.

U.D. Dharmasinghe, a spokesman for the Dolomite Manufacturers Union said, they have been permitted to carry out blasting only between 9 am to 4 pm.
“The first tremor was felt at 8:30 pm. The second tremor was felt at 6:45 am,” Dharmasinghe observed pointing out that the tremors were felt when blasting had not taken place.
Area residents are living in uncertainty as to what the future has in store for them.

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