Severe Floods and Landslides in South-Western Lanka


News Reports

The number of deaths reported in floods and landslides was increased to 126 while 97 people had gone missing, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said today. In its latest situation report, the DMC said the adverse weather condition had left 49 people injured. In total, 423,068 people of 109,773 families had been affected by the weather calamity. The South-West monsoon unleashed torrential rains, which ravaged fourteen districts in the western and southern parts of the country on Friday and Thursday.

The disaster is described as one of the worst-ever calamities since the 2003 floods.

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The Disaster Management Center issued an urgent evacuation warning last evening instructing residents living along the Kelani River and within the Divisional Secretariats of Kollonnawa, Kaduwela, Wellampitiya, Kelaniya, Biyagama, Sedawatte, Dompe, Hanwella, Padukka and Avissawella to move to safer areas. The DMC said the residents of Meethotamulla were already evacuated. It said water levels in the Kelani River were rising rapidly as indicted by the water gauges at Nagalagam Street, Hanwella and Glencourse and warned residents to move away from the vulnerable area as it was under an imminent flood threat.

Those living along the banks of Nilwala Ganga, The Gin Ganga and Kalu Ganga were also asked to move to safer areas because of the rising water levels.

Meanwhile, the DMC requested the people to be vigilant on rising water levels and requested the public to call 011-2136136, 011-2670002 and 117 for emergencies. Meanwhile, the Meteorology Department said that rain and windy condition is expected to continue over the South-Western part of the country due to South-Western monsoon. “Showers or thundershowers will occur at times in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Central and North-western provinces. Heavy falls (about 150 mm) can be expected at some places,” it said.

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Rainfall as high as 553 mm recorded in the country

Rainfall as high as 500mm was reported in several parts of the country yesterday, the Department of Meteorology said. The highest rainfall of 553mm was recorded from Kukuleganga in the Kalutara District while nearly 500mm of rain had fallen in Weeraketiya. The other rainfall figures included 395mm in Batuwagala, 387.2mm in Padukka and 348.5mm in Ratnapura. All in all the rainfalls exceeded 100mm in both the Western and Sabaragamuwa Provinces.

However, the 553 mm of rain that had fallen in Kukuleganga was not the highest rainfall recorded in Sri Lanka’s history as there have been instances where it had exceeded 700mm in some areas in the past.  Meanwhile, the department had forecast more showers in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Central and North-Western Provinces in the coming days as well……...Report from Yohan Perera


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