Nov 01, Colombo: Over 68,000 people in Sri Lanka have been affected by the adverse weather conditions brought about by the "Neelam" cyclone that has moved to India from the Bay of Bengal, the Disaster Management Center said today.
The Meteorology Department predicted heavy rains and strong winds in the Western, Central, Sabaragamuwa and Southern provinces for today due to the influence of the cyclonic storm.
Irrigation Department warned the public that the water levels of Kelani, Gin, Nilwala and Kalu rivers are gradually increasing and urged the people living downstream to be alert.
The Disaster Management Centre said it has taken necessary action in responding to the disaster situation with other organizations and district secretariats. Cooked Meals have been provided to affected communities, through the relevant Divisional Secretariats, the DMC said.
According to the DMC, three people have lost their lives due to the severe weather and 7,437 people have been found shelter in about 37 makeshift camps.
In addition 51 houses have been fully damaged and another 30 had been partially damaged. Several roads have been blocked by fallen trees and rocks.
Railway track between Ohiya and Idalgashinna stations and the road between Diyatalawa and Haputale are blocked due to fallen trees, while, the road between Badulla and Dunhinda is temporary closed due to risk of rock falling.
Sluice gates of Kanyon and Laxapana hydropower reservoirs have been opened and the the Norton Bridge reservoir is currently spilling, the DMC said cautioning the residents inlow-lying areas.
The cyclone that was supposed to hit Mullaitivu in the northeastern coast early Tuesday morning changed its course sparing the sparsely populated coastal town and headed towards India's Tamil Nadu and Andra Pradesh states. However, the cyclone's effects are still lingering.