May 17, Colombo: At least 11 people have died and over 225,000 people have been affected in Sri Lanka by floods and landslides as heavy rains lashed the country for the past three days, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said on Tuesday.
According to the latest situation report of the DMC, 226,115 people belonging to 53,092 families have been affected by the floods and landslides while 137,606 people belonging to 29,786 families have been evacuated to 226 shelters.
At least 11 people have died and another six have gone missing following a landslide occurred at Ranwala area in Kadugannawa early Tuesday morning. Another 19 persons have been injured.
Landslide warnings have been issued to several districts following the inclement weather. The Disaster Management Centre has informed especially those living in the hill country areas to be on alert.
Several main roads in the country are submerged in flood restricting travel. Avissawella - Colombo old road has been closed from Hanwella area due to the overflowing of Kelani River. The Kaduwela Entrance of the Colombo outer circular road has also been closed due to floods restricting entry to the expressway. Many roads in central hills are obstructed by landslides.
The Eppawala-Kekirawa main road and the Eppawala town are completely submerged following the breach of the Eppawala Wewa in Anuradhapura.
Major rivers, including Kelani River and Gin River are overflowing and low lying areas have been inundated due to the overflowing of lakes that are connected to the rivers.
The Kelani River reached the spill level by last evening, resulting in the flooding of low lying areas in Kelaniya, Talwatte, Nagahamula, Kunukade Junction, Welekade, Pattiwila, Kohilawatte and Henawatte, the state-run TV reported. The people have been evacuated by boats to shelters.
The Sri Lanka Mahaweli Authority informed people living in low lying areas near Bowathenna, Kalawewa, Rantambe, Udawalawa and Ulhitiya reservoirs to remain vigilant as spill gates will be opened from time to time.
Several areas in Rajangana have been inundated as 28 of the 32 sluice gates of the Rajangana Reservoir have been opened. People living in low lying areas have been told to be on alert. The Tambuttegama-Ambagamuwa road has been temporarily closed following the overflow of the Rajangana Ambagamuwa Reservoir.
Meanwhile, the National Building Research Organization has identified 52 more earth slip prone centers and issued warnings to pay special attentions to all mountainous areas, manmade cut slopes and roads within the district in Badulla, Moneragala, Kandy, Ratnapura, Kurunegala, Nuwara Eliya, Kegalle, Matale, and Kalutara districts.
Assistant Director of the Disaster Management Centre Pradeep Kodippili said 19 districts have been affected by the adverse weather and the government has taken maximum measures to provide all facilities including food to the victims. Relief is being continuously given to District Secretariats by the Disaster Management Ministry Mr. Kodippili added.
The tri-forces - Army, Navy, Air Force- and police have deployed teams to assist the Disaster Management Center in rescue and recovery operations as wells as relief operations.
The Meteorology Department meanwhile, said the low pressure area has moved away from the island and rainy conditions over the island will gradually reduce during next few days as the system is further moving away from the island. However, strong windy conditions, particularly in the sea areas around the island will continue further.
Showers or thunder showers will occur at times in the Northern, North-central, North-Western, Western, Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces and in the Galle and Matara districts and heavy rain falls of over 100 mm are likely at some places.