Saarc Summit Holistic Management of Disaster
Sri Lanka

The island of Sri Lanka lies in the Indian Ocean, to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal. It lies between latitudes 5° and 10°N, and longitudes 79° and 82°E. Sri Lanka is separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. Extensive faulting and erosion over time have produced a wide range of topographic features, making Sri Lanka one of the most scenic places in the world. Three zones, the Central Highlands, the plains, and the coastal belt have been demarcated based on its elevation.

The south-central part of Sri Lanka, the rugged Central Highlands with consist a high plateau, running north-south for approximately sixty-five kilometers. This area includes Pidurutalagala which is the highest at 2,524 meters. At the plateau's southern end, mountain ranges stretch about 50 kilometers to the west toward Adams Peak, 2,243 meters and 50 kilometers to the east toward Namunakuli, 2,036 meters. Flanking the high central ridges are two lower plateaus. On the west is the Hatton Plateau, on the east, the Uva Basin while the north, separated from the main body of mountains and plateaus by broad valleys, steep escarpments, deep gorges, and peaks rising to more than 1,800 meters. Southern part consists with parallel ridges of the Rakwana Hills, with several peaks over 1,400 meters.

Most of the island's surface consists of plains between 30 and 200 meters above sea level. In the southwest, ridges and valleys rise gradually to merge with the Central Highlands, giving a dissected appearance to the plain. The transition from the plain to the Central Highlands is abrupt in the southeast, and the mountains appear to rise up like a wall. In the east and the north, the plain is flat, dissected by long, narrow ridges of granite running from the Central Highlands.

Main Natural Hazards

Tsunami, storm surge, flood, sea erosion, drought, landslide

Major Disasters in Recent Past

Event Year Dead Affected
Tsunami200435,3991 million
Cyclone19787401 million
Flood19893251.2 million
Flood2003235695,000

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Vidya Mawatha,
Vidya Mawatha,
Colombo
Colombo,

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