An Echelon Media Company
Saturday May 18th, 2024

Sri Lanka mulls India plate and Vijayan complex activity to explain earthquakes

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s geologists say they are pursuing two lines of inquiry in trying to explain a recent increase in observed earthquake activity in the Indian Ocean Island involving Indo-Australian plate and internal geological formations.

Sri Lanka is generally considered to have been free of major earthquakes or volcanoes for thousands of years. Its major geological activity involving separating lowlands and the hill country is believed to have occurred about 600 to 800 million years ago.

Authorities Lanka had documented 16 small tremors and 18 in 2021. In 2022 there were 5 reported seismic events and in 2023 so far 9, Acting Director General of Sri Lanka’s Geological Survey and Mines Bureau Ajith Prema said.

The boundary forming the Indo-Australia plate and Sunda sub-plate is where the active Indonesian earthquakes take place generating frequent tsunamis.

Scientists believe that that the India and Australia plates which are virtually fused may have started to separate again about three million years ago. The Himalayas are a result of the Indian plate moving northwards very slowly and colliding with the Eurasian plate.

The active zone in Indonesia is located about 1,600 kilometres away and the Himalayas about 2,000 kilometres away.

“The Indian and Australia plate boundary is located about 900 to 1,000 kilometres away from Sri Lanka which is closer,” Prema said.

“These activities take thousands or millions of years. The probability of any major earthquakes happening is very small.”

A second line of inquiry that geologists are pursuing is on the internal geological formations of the island.

Scientists have identified three main areas in the island involving the Vanni complex, the Highland complex and the Vijayan complex.

Along the boundary of the Vijayan complex which runs from the Eastern coast to Hambantota and the Highland complex activity like hot spring (geothermal energy) is seen.

Sone of the earthquakes reported, for example in Buttala falls along the boundaries of the two complexes.

Geologist Nalin de Silva says it is difficult to say still whether there is any actual increase in activity due to the lack of past data.

There was reason to believe that seismic activity had gone unreported in the past, because people may have not have paid much attention to such phenomena unlike now, officials said.

“There is now greater public awareness,” de Silva said. “The measuring equipment has also got more sensitive. There is equipment in Sri Lanka, the region and globally which are much more sensitive.”

The GSMB is constructing maps, collecting data and analyzing the information, he said.

The GSMB is also in talks with Sri Lanka’s survey department to install equipment along the boundaries of the geological complex to check if there is any measurable movements, de Silva said.

Comments (1)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Teknik Industri says:

    Scientists believe that that the India and Australia plates which are virtually fused may have started

View all comments (1)

Comments (1)

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Teknik Industri says:

    Scientists believe that that the India and Australia plates which are virtually fused may have started

Sri Lanka suffers over $138mn foreign outflow from govt bonds in 2024 after rate cuts

ECONOMYNEXT – Foreign investors have dumped 41.6 billion-rupee ($138.6 million) worth of Sri Lanka government securities in the first 20 weeks of 2024, the central bank data showed, after reduction in the key policy interest rates.

The foreign holding in Sri Lanka’s treasury bills and treasury bonds fell to 75.9 billion rupees on the week ended on Friday (17), May 2024, from 117.4 billion rupees on the week ended on December 29.

The central bank rate has reduced the key policy rates by 50 basis points so far in 2024, extending the rates cut by 700 basis points since June last year.

The rupee appreciated 9.1 percent in the first four months, but the gain failed to attract foreign investors amid a dragged debt restructuring negotiation with external private creditors.

Currency dealers said lackluster demand for dollars due to dampened imports with heavy controls, boom in both tourism revenue and remittances have helped to increase the dollar liquidity in the market, leading to the appreciation of the local currency.

The dealers said foreign investors can earn capital gain if they had bought government securities before the appreciation and now the offshore investors might be selling their bonds.

“They are also discouraged by policy rate cut because that will reduce their returns from the rupee bond investments,” a currency dealer said.

The yield in 12-month T-bills has fallen 336 basis points in the first four months of this year, the central bank data showed.

The central bank also reduced the Statutory Reserve Ratio (SRR) of commercial banks by 200 basis points in August last year to boost liquidity in the market with an aim to reduce market interest rates.

Under tough International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions for its $3 billion loan program, the central bank raised key monetary policy rates in 2022 and last year to bring down inflation which hit over 70 percent in 2022. The inflation has fallen to the lower single digit now.

The rupee has appreciated to around 300 against the US dollar this week from around 330 level early in November. The local currency was at 365 rupees against the US dollar in early 2022. Depreciation causes capital loss for foreign investors. (Colombo/May 18/2024)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka’s ‘Sancharaka Udawa’ tourist fair seeks to involve universities

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s ‘Sancharaka Udawa’ tourism fair kicked off this week to promote interaction between industry stakeholders and relevant Government bodies, including the Tourist Police, and also universities.

“Several universities, including Colombo, Uva Wellasa, Kelaniya, Sabaragamuwa and Rajarata were given free stalls to facilitate student interaction with industry professionals,” Chairman of the Sancharaka Udawa Organising Committee, Charith De De Alwis said in a statement.

The event takes place today (18) at the BMICH and houses stalls for hoteliers, tour and transport services, with a goal of attracting 10,000 visitors.

Organized by the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) and the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), the 11th edition of Sancharaka Udawa offers a platform for both B2B and B2C sectors.

“Sancharaka Udawa houses over 170 exhibitors and a footfall of more than 10,000 visitors,” De Alwis said.

This year’s edition will include participants from outbound tourism sectors to facilitate capacity building. The event provides networking opportunities for industry newcomers and veterans.

“The networking platform offers opportunity for small and medium-sized service providers integrating them into the broader tourism landscape. The anticipated outcome is a substantial increase in bookings particularly for regional small-scale tourism service providers.” (Colombo/May18/2024)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka’s CEB sells LTL shares to West Coast IPP for Rs26bn

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Electricity Board has sold shares of an affiliate to West Coast Power Company Limited, an independent power producer giving profits of 25.9 billion rupees in the March 2024 quarter, interim accounts showed.

The sale has been carried out as a transfer.

“Twenty-eight percent (28-pct) of share ownership of CEB within LTL Holding’s equity capital has been transferred to West Coast Power Company Ltd for a total consideration of Rs 26 billion as part of a partial settlement of outstanding dues…” the March interim accounts said.

“This transaction resulted in a net gain of Rs25.9 billion rupees which has been recognized and reflected in the ‘Gain from Share Disposal’ in the individual financial statement in CEB.”

LTL Holdings is a former transformer making unit of the CEB set up with ABB where the foreign holding was sold to its management.

The firm has since set up several IPPs.

West Coast Power operates a 300MW combined cycle IPP in Kerawalapitiya promoted by LTL group liked firms in which both the Treasury and Employees Provident Fund also have shares.

Its operational and maintenance contract is with Lakdhanavi, another private IPP. The firm has been paying dividends.

The capital gain from the transfer of shares helped the CEB post profits to 84 billion rupees for the March 2024 quarter.

CEB reported gross profits of 62.7 billion rupees from energy sales and 30.6 billion rupees in other income and gains in the March 2024 quarter. Other income was only 3.1 billion rupees in last year. (Colombo/May18/2024)

Continue Reading