Rains islandwide: 15 deaths, 7,000 affected and 800 houses damaged


Flooding and landslides fueled by the torrential rains over the last two weeks have killed 15 people, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said.

Nine people had drowned in flood waters, four had died due to landslides and two others had died due to lightening, the DMC said. According to the DMC nine deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours.

The DMC further stated that nearly 7,000 people have been affected and nearly 800 houses have been partially damaged by the inclement weather.

Moreover, the DMC sources added that 222 people belonging to 58 families, displaced by the adverse weather, are currently staying at seven emergency shelters.

Meanwhile the Meteorological Department stated that a low-pressure area has   formed in the south-east Bay of Bengal and is likely to intensify further into a depression during next 36 hours and move West-Northwestwards towards North Tamil Nadu, closer to the Northern coast of Sri Lanka.

Accordingly there can be very heavy showers or thundershowers, strong winds up to 60-70 Kmph associated with rough seas over the aforementioned sea area and the sea areas around the island.

Thereby the Met Department has warned Naval and fishing communities not to venture into the South-west Bay of Bengal sea area and deep and shallow sea areas around the island. And also those who are in aforementioned sea regions are advised to return to the coast or move to safer areas as soon as possible.

And also heavy showers above 100 mm can be expected at some places in Northern, North-central, North-western and Western provinces and strong winds up to (40-50) Kmph can be expected over the island.

In addition, the Irrigation Department issued a Red alert for major flood situations in the low-lying areas of Maha Oya River Basin as the water levels have gone up extensively.

Issuing a flood warning, the Department of Irrigation said minor flooding has already been reported in low-lying areas. Due to the prevailing torrential rains, the Gin Ganga has overflowed and flooded many roads, disrupting traffic.

Meanwhile, a landslide warning issued for 10 districts by the National Building Research Organization (NBRO) has been further extended. Accordingly a level 2 Amber Warning was issued to Elpitiya and Baddegama Divisional Secretariat (DS) Divisions in Galle district, Bulathsinhala, Palindanuwara, Agalawatta and Matugama DS Divisions in Kalutara, Ganga Ihala Korale DS Division in Kandy, Aranayaka, Bulathkohupitiya, Mawanella, Rambukkana, Kegalle DS Divisions in Kegalle District, Narammala DS District in Kurunegala and Ayagama, Ratnapura, Kalawana and Eheliyagoda DS Divisions in Ratnapura District.

In order to face the critical situation Sri Lanka Air force (SLAF) is ready to deploy aircraft and related personnel to assist relief and rescue operations in the case of probable floods and landslides in different regions of the country. The Navy too is ready to provide assistance. The DMC also added that the hotline number 117 is available to inform of any probable disaster situation and to seek assistance.

Three die in earthslip

Three persons died and another person hospitalised following an earthslip at Udagaladeniya in the Rambukkana Divisional Secretariat area in the Kegalle District yesterday, the Kegalle Disaster Management Centre said.

The deceased were identified as Surangika Lakmini, a 36-year-old mother and her two daughters, aged 13 and 8. It is reported that Sudath Marasinghe the father (40) was also admitted to the Kegalle Hospital.

Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment (SLSR) troops were among the first to reach Dombemada, Rambukkana yesterday morning at around 4.30 a.m. A group of 32 Army personnel including two officers stationed in Kegalle rushed to the scene and began rescue operations.

Troops managed to evacuate all four family members despite the inclement weather and transported them to the Rambukkana Hospital.