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Geologists in Sri Lanka are dismissing claims from other scientists and members of the public that they could have warned the country of last month's tsunami — an action that would have saved thousands of lives.

US-based scientists, who receive data from Sri Lanka as part of a global earthquake monitoring system, have also been accused of negligence.

The Sri Lankan scientists say they simply did not have the means to detect the tsunami. The island's lack of scientific capacity means local scientists relied on counterparts in the United States to interpret their data. On the day the tsunami struck, the Sri Lankan earthquake monitor was functioning but nobody was attending it.

Scientists from both countries argue that earthquake measurements alone are not enough to predict a tsunami. Those in Sri Lanka are trying to attract funding from their government and from overseas to boost the country's scientific resources.

Link to full Seattle Post-Intelligencer news story

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