This was quite the thing. It wreaked havoc on the the southern part of the SW coast, though the earthquake and the start of the tsunami were to the east. Yes, the east coast was not harmed as much as the south west. The waves wrapped around.
None of my relatives or anybody that I know was affected. That might not be as amazing as it sounds in that I had left Ceylon/Sri Lanka 37-years earlier — plus all my relatives lived slightly north of where the devastation ended.
I do have a theory about why so many Sri Lankans, especially kids, drowned — MOST of them that had gone out along the beach when the ocean retreated, living tons of fish and sealife exposed. The kids in particular ran towards the receding ocean never giving any thought that the water HAD to come back. My explanation: we have negligible tides in Sri Lanka because of an unique shaping of the continental shelf. Folks do NOT see the ocean go in-and-out. This was a novelty. A shame.
How the Buddhist reacted to the huge loss in life was SAD. Folks, including my adoptive father, blamed it on MASS KARMA coming together. And then there were all of these accounts of how Buddha statues miraculously survived the onslaught. But, since Buddha is not a god, never was and is no longer around, what I want to know is who protected the statues and wouldn’t it have been better to ditch the statues and save the kids?