(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Nearly 50,000 people have been affected by the raging flood waters in the Northern Peninsula over the past two days, and the authorities warned of more wet weather in the area and elsewhere.Incidentally, the number of affected people is the single largest figure since the end of hostilities between the security forces and Tamil Tigers in 2009.
The figures are also expected to rise in the coming days, as more rain is expected in the affected areas, officials warned.“Another 2,661 families, totalling up to 8,539 people have also been displaced and are currently housed in safe locations on higher ground,” Pradeep Kodippili at the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said.
He added that in addition to that, some 150 houses were also damaged, some severely, as the flash floods swept through districts of Kilinochchi, Mannar, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, and Jaffna.
“The displaced people are currently being housed at 52 centres that had been earlier selected by the DMC for such a situation,” Kodippili said.
He further added that food and other essential items were provided to the displaced people and that the DMC had sufficient funds to this end. “The shelters include schools, temples, sports complexes, and other buildings that had been previously acquired by the DMC to deal with such a situation,” he said.He said that the owners of the damaged houses will also be subsequently compensated, after the initial assessment is carried out by the relevant authorities.He added that the Police and the security forces were also coordinating relief operations, along with other volunteers.
The Navy has deployed 9 dinghies and 6 relief teams to assist flood victims in the Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi Districts since Saturday, Naval Spokesman Cmdr. Dinesh Bandara said.“Naval personnel attached to the North Central Naval Command were promptly pressed into action following the flood situation and they reached the displaced Tamil community residing in Iranamadu, Shamikulam, Oddusuddan, and Wasanthampuram areas,” Bandara said.“The Navy rescued and transferred 103 civilians, including a pregnant woman who had been affected by the adverse weather to safe locations,” he said.
In a related development, flooding was also reported from the Kandy District and the Akurana Town on the Kandy-Matale Road was inundated.The flooding took place at around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday due to heavy rains that lashed the region, according to officials.They said the A9 Road and the Dunuwila Road in Akurana was also inundated, as a swollen canal running though the Akurana town had overflowed.The town took in some four feet of water, causing damage to nearly 100 shops, the officials added.Incidentally, this is the fourth time the Akurana town has been inundated inside a period of three months.
Meanwhile, the deep depression in the Bay of Bengal that triggered heavy rain in the North and elsewhere, was yesterday, moving away from the island, but a top official warned that there would be more rain both in the North and other parts of the country. “The North received some 300 millimetres of rain during the past 48 hours owing to the disturbance in the Bay of Bengal and the region could expect more wet weather in the next few days,” Additional Director General of the Department of Meteorology Athula Karunanayake said. He added that showers or thundershowers would also be experienced in the Western, Northern, Central, Eastern, and Wayamba Provinces during this same period.