BUILDING lakes in the capital Colombo suburbs is a move considered by Sri Lankan authorities to prevent the city from flooding during thunder storms.
That reaction came after Thursday’s deluge which left most parts of the capital under water following its highest rain fall in 18 years. The city recorded 440 millimetres of rain which is the second highest rainfall since the 492 millimeters recorded in June 1992. “We have identified at least three different areas, one in Nawala and others in Kotte to build lakes”, Shyama Gunawardena, the general manager of the Lands Reclamation Board said Saturday.
“The idea is to keep rain water at least temporarily at a higher plain until lower areas get free of flooding”, Gunawardena said. Thursday’s flooding left over 260,000 marooned in the Western Province, where Colombo is located. “The total number has now been reduced to around 230,000 as the floods receded since Thursday night”, Pradeep Kodippily of the National Disaster Management Centre said. “Over 20,000 people from 4,022 families are still in welfare camps in the city”, Kodippily said, adding that all were being provided with cooked meals. Parliamentary officials said the cost of the damage caused by the flooding would be over Rs. 200 million (1.8 million U.S. dollars), with carpets, computers and furniture all being damaged. The parliament was submerged in water and the parliamentarians were ferried in armoured personnel carriers to have a short session.