January 26, 2020
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    Heavy rains batter the country

    December 08, 2019

    Justifying Sri Lanka being named as the second most vulnerable country in the ‘Climate Risk Index’ for the year, 235,906 people belonging to 70,957 families in 21 districts of the country are currently suffering due to floods and landslides which occurred following heavy rainfall last week.

    According to Disaster Management Centre statistics, while Ampara is the most affected district with 132,573 people affected by heavy rainfall, Batticaloa, Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee, Kandy, Matale, Nuwara Eliya, Puttalam, Kurunegala, Rathnapura, Kegalle, Anuradhapura, Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya, Mannar, Badulla, Monaragala, Hambantota and Matara are the other districts hit by floods, landslides and other types of accidents related to heavy rains.

    According to the Meteorological Department, the prevailing showery conditions in the Eastern and Uva provinces and in the Polonnaruwa district is likely to continue, while a similar condition will prevail in the South Western parts of the country during the evenings. Areas in Sabaragamuwa, Western, Central and Southern provinces are prone to heavy rainfall over 100mm, the Department announced.

    Landslides

    Meanwhile, the National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) advises the public living in Haldummulla, Passara, Lunugala, Ella, Haliela, Badulla, Haputale Bandarawela, Soranathota, Uva Paranagama and Welimada in the district of Badulla, Ududumbara in the Kandy district, Walapane in the Nuwara Eliya district, and Balangoda and Imbulpe in the Ratnapura district, to be vigilant as the rainfall within the past 24 hours has exceeded 100 mm. If the rains continue the NBRO says that the public must be on the alert for the possibility of landslides, slope failures, rock falls, cut failures and ground subsiding, and must be ready to evacuate to a safe location if the need arises.

    A fatal landslide reported last Saturday (November30)in Walapane, Nuwara Eliya caused the loss of three persons in the same family while another member of the family is still missing. Mother, father and daughter of the same family died from the unfortunate accident while they were in their house. It was later reported that the family had been advised several times to abandon their house in the wake of the high possibility of a landslide. The younger girl of the family who was supposed to sit for the GCE O/L examination this December, has not yet been found.by the rescue operations. The area is still on red alert due to the continuous danger of the site.

    In the meantime, showers or thundershowers will occur at several places in the sea areas extending from Mannar to Hambanthota via Kankasanturai, Trincomalee and Batticaloa. Showers or thundershowers will occur in the other sea areas in the afternoon or at night. Winds will be North-easterly and the speed will be 30-40 kmph in the sea areas around the island’ The sea areas extending from Mullaitivu to Negombo via Kankasanturai, Mannar and Puttalam can be rough at times as the wind speed can increase up to (50-55) kmph, at times.

    Minister of Public Administration, Internal Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government Janaka Bandara Tennakoon and State Minister of Public Administration and Internal Affairs Mahinda Samarasinghe had a special meeting to review the unexpected natural disaster situation in the country.

    The Ministers advised the officials to take necessary action to reduce loss of human lives and property due to the prevailing adverse weather conditions. Also the Ministers stressed the importance of implementing a joint mechanism to support the affected people.

    Navy

    The Navy helped students who are sitting for the O/L examination by providing boats for them to reach exam centres.In the event of any disaster or failure to appear for the examination, candidates are requested to call the Disaster Management Centre on 117 or the Director of Emergency Operations (0773 957 903) or the Deputy Director (0773 3207 898) or Disaster Management Centre on 0772 320 530.

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