.Sri Lanka failed to take warnings of earthquakes seriously and was ill-prepared for the tidal waves, which devastated the island’s coastline and left over 4,850 dead, a senior relief official said.
Lalith Weeratunga, Sri Lanka’s top relief co-ordinator, said officials had also failed to learn from floods in June last year that ravaged the country’s south and claimed hundreds of lives.
"We had been very complacent," Weeratunga said. "People had been predicting earth quakes, tidal waves and we even felt a few tremors recently, but obviously we did not take the warnings seriously."
Until Sunday’s unprecedented destruction, the worst natural disaster had been last June’s river flooding and mudslides, which left 255 dead.