Floods, landslides kill 25, displaces over 18,000

Friday, 21 December 2012 00:48 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Torrential rains continued to lash unabated raising the death toll from floods and landslides to 25 and leaving over 18,000 people homeless in most parts of the country.

The latest figures from the Disaster Management Centre reported that 13 people are still missing and 33 people have been injured in Central, North Central, North Western, Uva, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provinces.

A total of 267,525 people from 69,133 families have been affected while 18,845 people from 5,281 displaced by the adverse weather have been evacuated to 102 shelters in the six provinces. According to DMC figures 358 houses have been fully damaged and another 1,935 houses are partially damaged.

Out of the 25 deaths, 12 have been reported from the Central Province where the hill areas are prone to landslides. Several roads in the province are impassable due to earth slips hindering relief efforts and access to relief workers.

The Disaster Management Ministry has sought assistance from the country’s security forces to coordinate relief efforts and rescue operations. Sri Lanka Navy has deployed 27 flood relief teams with boats to the areas affected. By Wednesday evening, Navy teams have rescued and transferred 1,226 people marooned by the floods to safety.

The rising floodwaters in Chilaw of Puttalam district have threatened the operations at the Chilaw Hospital and authorities have taken measures to transfer 300 resident patients to Ragama, Marawila, and Colombo hospitals this morning. Reportedly authorities have expressed fear that floodwaters may damage the Chilaw Hospital’s blood bank and the medicine storage.

Several water reservoirs in the affected provinces are overfilling and their sluice gates have been opened, the Irrigation Ministry said.

Meanwhile, the Meteorology Department forecast for today said there will be showers at times in the Northern, Eastern, North Central and Uva provinces and in the eastern slopes of the central hills and in the Hambantota district.