When early warning systems fail, death comes quickly to unsuspecting victims of natural disasters. It is a reality that millions of Sri Lankans have experienced repeatedly in the last decade, and yet those responsible for preventing human fatalities continue to make the same mistakes.
It was several hours before dawn when Afthas Niflal, a young fisherman in southern Sri Lanka, felt the sea start to rumble beneath him.
The monsoon in Sri Lanka is always a much-awaited event. There is something about the sight of the gathered clouds, the washed trees and the drenched landscape that stirs romance even in the most hardened of souls.