Inclement weather in Sri Lanka claims 25 lives, over 222,000 affected

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Flooding and landslides fueled by the torrential rains over the past few days have claimed 25 lives in Sri Lanka with one person missing.

According to the latest report of the Disaster Management Center (DMC), 222,590 people of 63,317 families have been affected by the adverse weather conditions that have affected 126 Divisional Secretariat Divisions in 17 districts of the country.

One person has gone missing after being swept away by floods, 13 people have drowned while swimming and rafting, three people have been killed by lightning and seven people died in landslides. Also, 7 persons have been injured due to the disastrous weather.

According to the DMC, 23 houses were completely damaged and 1,253 houses were partially damaged due to floods and landslides.

Director General of the Disaster Management Center, Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe at a media briefing held at the Information Department yesterday said those who do not evacuate when landslide red notices are issued will have to be evacuated by the police or by judicial action.

Dr. Asiri Karunawardena, Director General of the National Building Research Organization said that 115 landslides and cutting failure prone areas have been reported so far and attention is being paid in this regard.

The National Building Research Organization has issued landslide early warning red alerts for Harispattuwa, Doluwa, Yatinuwara, Udapalatha, Pasbage Korale, Gangawatta Korale, Udunuwara and Ganga Ihala Korale in the Kandy District; Mallawapitiya, Alawwa, Mawathagama, Rideegama and Narammala in the Kurunegala District and Yatiyantota, Ruwanwella, Rambukkana, Aranayaka, Kegalle, Mawanella, Bulathkohupitiya, Warakapola, Dehiowita, Galigamuwa and Deraniyagala in the Kegalle District.

The National Building Research Organization further stressed that resettlement should not take place until a quality inspection is carried out in landslide prone areas.

Meanwhile, the Department of Meteorology said the heavy rains that affected many parts of the island will ease relatively today (11).

The low pressure area in the south-east Bay of Bengal has intensified into a depression and located about 300 km north of Point Pedro. It is expected to move northwestwards and reach the northern Tamil Nadu coast this evening.

Showers will occur at times in Western, Sabaragamuwa, North-western and Central provinces and in Galle and Matara districts. Showers may occur in the Northern Province during the morning too.

Showers or thundershowers may occur at a few places in Uva province and in Ampara and Batticaloa districts in the evening or night.

Fairly heavy showers about 75mm can be expected at some places in Western, Sabaragamuwa, Central and North-western provinces.

Strong winds up to (40-50) kmph can be expected over the island.

The sea areas extending from Puttalam to Hambantota via, Colombo and Galle will be rough at times. Naval and fishing communities are advised to be attentive in this regard.

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