150,000 people affected by heavy rain in 21 districts

Monday, 9 December 2019 01:51 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Displaced persons moved to 86 emergency shelters
  • More rain predicted, east coast to receive close to 200mm today 
  • Armed forces pre-deployed and on alert

Close to 150,000 people have been affected by adverse weather in 21 districts as of last night, with more thundershowers expected today. 

According to a forecast by the Meteorological Department, heavy rains in excess of 200mm are expected to affect Ampara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Monaragala, Polonnaruwa, Badulla, Nuwara-Eliya and Kandy Districts. Other parts of the island will also be affected by significant rainfall. 

“Due to a low level atmospheric disturbance in the southeast of Sri Lanka, the prevailing showery condition over the island particularly in the Eastern, Uva, North-Central and Northern Provinces is likely to enhance further...” the Met Department said in press release. 

The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) in a report published yesterday said nearly 150,000 people have been affected with four deaths reported and one person listed as missing. Around 1,131 homes have been damaged with some Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) also damaged.

“The DMC is working closely with all stakeholders to ensure we monitor high risk areas and are prepared to respond to any necessity,” said DMC Spokesman Pradeep Koddipili.

Koddipili said those displaced were moved to some 86 emergency shelters and that dry rations were being given out to those who relocate.

The Army, Navy and Air Force have forward deployed specially-trained search and rescue units to flood and landslide prone areas, said Military Spokesman Gen. Sumith Atapattu. Attapattu stated that a number of battalions had been placed on alert to respond to any disaster in more than 10 districts.

The Navy has also deployed rescue teams and divers and is prepared to deploy the Rapid Action Boat Squadron if the need arises.

The Government has issued Rs. 32 million during the last four days in relief via provincial councils and dry rations issued to those displaced, Koddipili said.