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* Heavy rains in Sri Lanka cause havoc with floods, landslides, claim 23 lives
Fri, May 26, 2017, 11:40 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 26, Colombo: Heavy rains lashing for a third day on Friday with over 100 mm rainfalls and gusting winds have flooded major roads interrupting the transport services on main roads in the south while landslides and earth slips in Kalutara district have buried houses and shops.

According to the Disaster Management Center (DMC) 23 people have died and over a million people have been affected due to the island wide inclement weather.

Pimbura Hospital in Bulathsinhala has confirmed that 9 dead bodies have been brought to the hospital from a landslide in Bogahawatta in Bulathsinhala of Kalutara district.

Kalutara District Secretary said 10 people have died due to a landslide. Several roads in Bulathsinhala, Padukka, Seethawka, Agalawatta, and Badureliya are inundated and relief efforts are hampered by the flooded roads.

Meanwhile an earth slip in Neboda, Kalutara has damaged two buses and a shop and some 30 families have been evacuated due to the threat of further landslides.

The National Building Research Organization (NBRO) alerted the public to be vigilant on possible landslides in mountainous areas in Galle, Kegalle, Ratnapura, Kalutara, Matara and Hambanthota districts. Earth slips and falling of mounds are expected in the next 24 hours. If rain continued people who are living in those mentioned areas need to be vigilant of possibility of landslides, the NBRO said.

Due to heavy rainfall experienced in many parts of the island, the people living in low lying areas around Kelani River and Kalu Ganga are cautioned about possible floods.

The Irrigation Department has identified rising water levels in Kalu Ganga, Kelani Ganga, Gin Ganga and Nilwala Ganga. Possible inundation of the low lying areas will be expected. People were alerted at low lying areas in Kalu, Kelani, Gin and Nilwala Rivers and requested to be vigilant about the rising water levels of the rivers.

The Disaster Management Center (DMC) issuing a major alert warned the people of Kelani Ganga related Divisional Secretariat areas of Kolonnawa, Biyagama, Kelaniya, Kaduwela, Dompe, Hanwella, Padukka and Avissawella and Kalu Ganga related Divisional Secretariat areas Agalawatta, Bandaragama, Beruwela, Bulathsinhala, Dodangoda, Horana, Ingiriya, Kalutara, Madurawala, Mathugama, Millaniya, Palindanuwara, Panadura, Walallavita to take adequate measures from major floods.

According to Home Affairs Minister Vajira Abeywardena 13 deaths have already been reported and four are missing due to countrywide floods.

Meanwhile, Kokmaduwa and Welipenna interchanges on the Southern Expressway (E01) had been flooded and motorists are advised to use alternate routes, Southern Expressway Deputy Director R. A. D Kahatapitiya said.

The DMC requested the people to take adequate precautions to prevent lightening damages and also as heavy rain and strong winds are expected, people are requested to be alert on falling of trees and take necessary actions to minimize the damages. Speed of the water streams will be in dangerous levels and communities are alerted not to use any flood water sources.

According to DMC, as of 6 pm on Thursday (25 May) 1,098,085 people from 301,990 families have been affected by the floods and landslides.

The Disaster Management Centers, three armed forces and police are ready to face any emergency situation, and the public can provide information on disaster situations on 24 hour hotline at ; 011 2136226, 011 2136136, 077 3957900, the DMC said.


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