Nov 14, Colombo: In light of the prevailing adverse weather conditions, State Minister of Defense Premitha Bandara Thennakoon has issued a statement apprising the public of the measures taken to mitigate the impact of severe weather.
The Department of Meteorology has predicted that the current bad weather condition will continue for the next few days and that some provinces will receive more than 100 mm of rain in the next few days.
Accordingly, due to the current situation, 34,348 people of 9280 families in 158 divisional secretariat divisions of 15 districts have been affected by the adverse weather conditions.
In the past month, 8 deaths and 9 injuries have been reported due to bad weather. Currently, 1951 people from 550 families are sheltered in 29 safe centers in several parts of the island.
It has been reported that 4 people have gone missing due to a landslide in Balangoda Divisional Secretariat of Ratnapura District on Sunday (12th) and two children aged 8 and 10 years are among the missing people.
This situation has arisen in an area where the National Building Research Organization (NBRO) has issued Landslide warnings. Following the level 2 warnings, several people in the surrounding houses have sought safety in shelters and have been able to save their lives.
Further operations are underway to find the missing persons with the help of the Armed Forces, the State Minister of Defense said.
Also, 3 deaths have been reported due to landslides from 28.09.2023 to 12.11.2023. During that period, the National Building Research Organization has inspected 725 places and issued warnings to the people to leave the places prone to landslides.
Due to the recent heavy rainfall and strong wind, hazardous conditions were observed in Colombo and its suburbs as well as in areas outside Colombo due to the falling of large trees.
It has been identified that there are 100,000 trees on both sides of the roads in the jurisdiction of the Colombo Municipal Council alone, and out of these, about 300 trees have been identified as being at risk of falling.
Accordingly, the relevant local authorities have been notified to take necessary actions regarding such dangerous trees.
It has been observed that there is no specific institution for issuing warnings regarding dangerous trees. By giving the authority to the NBRO to issue warnings regarding trees arrangements have been made to carry out related activities in a formal manner.
Accordingly, the NBRO together with the relevant local authority will issue warnings regarding unstable trees in the future. Dealing with that will be made a duty assigned to the respective local council or municipal council.
At present, any person is allowed to plant any type of tree without any prior knowledge or permission, especially on the sides of the road, but this situation cannot be viewed optimistically. It is hoped to identify suitable trees for planting on both sides of the road and to inform the public about it.
Also, it has been proposed to the local authorities to get the information about the trees grown on both sides of the roads and to open a file on each of those trees and to identify the future lifespan of the tree by entering that information into the data system.
In the current disaster situation, the officers of the National Building Research Organization, officers of the Disaster Management Center, the District Agents, the Divisional Secretaries, the members of the Armed Forces are working hard day and night to keep the public safe from this situation.
While giving them respect and thanks for that, the State Minister also thanked the officers of the Treasury for expediting the necessary financing to provide the necessary relief.