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Natural disasters kill 15, displace 6,800

Publication Date : 03-06-2014


The death toll due to the prevailing adverse weather conditions affecting many parts of the country has shot up to 15 while two others are reported missing, according to the Disaster Management Centre (DMC).

Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that out of seven victims who had died due to the collapse of an embankment, in Matugama, three were children.
The SSP said that two residents of Bulathsinhala had also died under similar circumstances and one was missing.

In another tragic incident in the early hours of yesterday in the Talangama North police area, a couple living on Dharmashoka road were buried alive when a granite wall collapsed on their house.

The highest rain fall of 160 mm during the last 24 hours ended at 8.30am yesterday was recorded at Neboda in the Kalutara District and it was the worst affected area due to the overflowing of the Uyanwatta Weva (reservoir).

DMC deputy director Sarath Lal Kumara yesterday told The Island that around 7,194 persons had been affected by floods in Kegalle, Kaluthara, Colombo, Gampaha and Matara Districts.

Ten deaths were reported from Agalawatte in the Kalutara District and two others from Kaduwela in the Colombo District due to collapsing embankments. Two persons had been reported missing in Agalawatta under similar circumstances and another one in Kelaniya due to floods, Lal Kumara said.

The DMC requested people living in the low lying areas to be cautious as several rivers including Kalu, Kukule, Gin, Bentrata and Nilwala were in spate and the threat of floods was imminent.

Low-lying areas in the Agalawatta, Welipanna, Matugama, Paalinda Nuwara and Omatta Divisions in the Kalutara District have been affected by floods. Several main roads and byroads in Colombo, Kalutara and Galle also went under water yesterday.

Lal Kumara said that five teams from the Navy and Air Force had been deployed to rescue victims.

The Welipenna access to the Southern Expressway had gone under water by yesterday morning. However, officials said that the floods had not disrupted vehicle movement on the southern highway.

The Ceylon Electricity Board said that the power supply to flood hit areas such as Matugama, Kitulgoda, Bulathsinhala and Kukuleganga in the Kalutara District had been disconnected yesterday for public safety.

Meanwhile, a severe weather advisory issued by Early Warning Centre of the meteorology department states that due to the active cloudiness in the western sea area, there is the possibility of sudden rough seas associated with sudden increase of wind speed (up to 70-80 km/ph) over those sea areas off the coast extending from Mannar to Pottuvil via Colombo and Hambantota. Heavy showers are also expected in the above sea areas, it says.

The rainy weather is expected to continue in the Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Galle, Matara and Ratnapura districts, while heavy showers were also likely at some places (more than 100 mm of rainfall), according to the meteorology department.

The meteorology department has requested the naval and fishing communities to be vigilant.

Meteorology department duty meteorologist P.D. Ananda Perera said that prevailing rainy weather was expected to continue in the western, Sabaragamuwa and Central provinces and in the Galle and Matara districts. He added that the heavy falls were also likely at some places. "Thundershowers will develop at several places in the Uva, North central and Eastern provinces during the afternoon or evening."

Perera noted that fairly strong winds could be expected along the western slopes of the Central hills at times and there might be temporary localised strong winds during thundershowers.

The National Council for Road Safety yesterday warned that there was a risk of the number of road accidents increaseing due to heavy rains and, therefore, all drivers and motorcyclists should be extra careful due to slippery road conditions.


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