June 21, Colombo: Sri Lanka's public as well as tourists has been cautioned to refrain from using country's southern and western beaches as the poisonous jellyfish population in the seas has increased.
The Marine Environment Protection Authority has requested the public and tourists to avoid western, south-western and southern coastal areas as far as possible, since the jellyfish population has increased in these areas due to the south-western monsoons which creates ideal breeding conditions.
The Matara - Polhena beach along the Southern coast has been declared out of bounds for local and foreign tourists due to the presence of stinging jellyfish in the sea.
Five tourists were hospitalized yesterday after coming into contact with jellyfish while they were bathing in Polhena beach in Matara.
The Matara Police, Disaster Management Unit, Matara MOH Office and the Matara Municipal Council have decided to make the beach area out of bounds for tourists due to the poisonous jelly fish.
The Marine Environment Protection Authority said that 30 people have been hospitalized after being exposed to jellyfish toxins, while bathing in the Mount Lavinia coastal area within the last few days.
The authorities said people should seek medical attention immediately if they come into contact with the jellyfish as it can be fatal in some cases.
However, the General Manager of the MEPA told Hiru News that the situation will change within the next two weeks.