Cyclone “Mora” leaves Sri Lanka but weather is yet to improve; over half a million affected

UPDATE 6

As the rain holds up, the disaster situation prevailed in the island is gradually diminishing. There was no significant rain fall reported from the areas which were affected by floods & landslides. As the access to affected areas has become easier and people are being provided with relief with support of relief agencies, government institutions, forces and police. However, some areas are still under water and people are stranded due the slowness of falling of the flood water levels.

The report issued by the DMC at 1600 hrs this afternoon confirmed that the water levels of Kalu, Kelani, Gin, Nilwala, Attanagalu Oya rivers are going down and no major flooding reported during the past 24 hours. As per the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) 15 districts still listed as affected due the floods & strong winds. Galle, Matara, Kalutara & Ratnapura, are still experiencing flood waters but gradually reducing. Further, the NBRO has improved their alert to a RED alert warning in Ratnapura, Kegalle, Galle, Matara, Kalutara, Hambantota & Nuwara Eliya districts of possible landslides, rock falls, cut slope failures and subsidence.

DMC report issued on 29th May at 1200hrs confirms the number of people affected by the floods & landslides has increased up to 588,082 in 153,303 families. Death toll has also gone up to 180 leaving 109 persons missing. The number of injured has also been recorded as 109 in their report. Over 74,000 people in 18,000 families are still located in 366 temporary safe locations established in the affected areas.

In the Rathnapura district the Rathnapura  Branch has established 05 First Aid Posts in Eheliyagoda area.  Volunteer support is currently in place for distributions of relief items & food in areas affected by the floods. The volunteers also distributed NFRI kits to the affected people.  Volunteers are currently deployed with 38 ferries in Dambuluwana Raddella, Ketepola, Galathura & Pahala Galathura flood effected areas for safe transportation of people and other goods.

In Galle relief distribution took place for 110 families in Mawita, Neluwa area. Along side the distribution a well cleaning activity began in the area to ensure that people have proper safe drinking water. Meanwhile our volunteers also took sometime to engage with children who were affected by floods. They sang songs, told stories and played games.

In Matara   04 First Aid camps have been established in Uyanwatta Primary School, Matara Maha Vidayalaya & Matara Rahula Vidyalaya coordinating relief activities with government officials. Branch volunteers engaged in rescue operations & transportation services in Palatuwa,

In Kalutara volunteers held a first aid camp in Ukwatta in Dodangoda area which was one of the hardest hit areas. In the same area distribution of NFRI also took place.

Gampaha branch is currently actively engaged in Biayagama area as follows;  744 were benefitted by the Search & Rescue and transportation in Biyagama area 205 were benefitted from Medical Assistance provided by the Branch

In Colombo, the Colombo Branch held a first aid post and a distribution of NFRI at Padukka & Kolonnawa.

A change in the prevailing weather is expected with the movement of the depression away from Sri Lanka. If change occurs, showers will occur at times in the south western parts (Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Central and North-western provinces) of the island on 29th & 30th May. Strong Winds about 80 kmph can also be expected over the country according to the report of the Meteorology Department issued at 1200hrs on 29th May 2017.

As per the report, Sri Lanka further could experience cloudy skies under the influence of the ‘MORA’ cyclone. Further, the Department informs public to be on alert for high winds in the western slopes of the central hills and surrounding sea areas.

UPDATE 5 

29/05/2017 – Various Locations in Sri Lanka: The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society and its branches in seven districts continues to assist people affected by floods and landslides since torrential rains brought in much deluge.

The SLRCS volunteers and first responders have been providing the necessary support to the affected people in coordination with

Branch Disaster Response Teams in Rathnapura, Kalutara, Matara, Galle and Colombo have been deployed to assist people who are stranded by flood waters and to provide essential relief.

In one of the worst affected districts, the SLRCS Rathnapura Branch deployed its disaster response teams to Elapatha and Kalawana areas. Assessments are currently underway in Rathnapura in order to provide the needed relief and care. Over 33,248 people are displaced and are housed at 134 temporary camps.

The Colombo Branch responded to first aid requests and distributed relief items to people stranded in Jayawirugoda in Hanwella. Over 500 families were provided with NFRI items and safe drinking water. First Aid was also administered to people who were affected by floods in the area.

In Gampaha first aid volunteers held a medical camp in Dompe to assist and treat people who were affected by the floods.

 

The Kalutara Branch has been providing ferry services to people stranded in Walalavita area and provided safe drinking water and other food items to people.  The branch is coordinating closely with local authorities and will provide the necessary care and assistance in the coming days as well. In Kalutara over 100,972 people were affected while 47 people lost their lives from a landslide in the area, with many people still missing.

The Galle branch launched a boat service to rescue people stranded in the area. In Galle alone around 114,161 people were affected from flash floods.

The Matara Branch responded to a request to provide food items to several families stranded in Malimbada and Thihagoda area.

Branch volunteers continue to assess the situation and are sharing information with national headquarters on needs and damages, and on relief activities realized so far. The national headquarters has dispatched some non- food relief items from its stock to branches and is coordinating a plan of action for immediate response.

According to the Sri Lanka Meteorological Department further heavy rains and strong rains are forecast for the week ahead which threaten to worsen the situation on the ground, restricting access to many areas due to flooding and landslides.

 

UPDATE 4

28/05/2017 – Various Locations in Sri Lanka:   Inclement weather 48 hours ago has brought in much deluge across the country displacing over half a million people while 122 people have lost their lives to various incidents that has brought in by the rains. The floods are said to be the worst since 2003.

The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society supported by the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has been launching number of activities in order to assist people affected by floods.

In Galle, Matara, Gampaha, Kalutara & Rathnapura Red Cross volunteers engaged in search and rescue operations utilizing boats. Most cities in these districts are flooded and people are cut off from getting any aid or assistance. One of the key services provided by the Red Cross is mobile first aid where volunteers travel by boat and provide this service.

“As always, the Red Cross is the first to respond, mainly because our volunteers are from those affected villages” says President of Sri Lanka Red Cross Jagath Abeysinghe. “When the Government mechanism has figured out an action plan, then the Red Cross volunteers have been there to assist. Our work indeed go hand in hand with the Government”

Meanwhile in all the affected districts steps were taken to distribute cooked food, safe drinking water and nonfood relief items. Over 800 such packs have been distributed thus far. Volunteers were also assisting in camp management in Matara and Galle where ensuring the wellbeing the people were the key focus.

 

“With the scale of this disaster its not just attending to one thing” says Kolitha Pathirana, the Branch Executive Officer of the SLRCS Galle Branch. “We have to utilize the very limited resources we have in order to get the maximum impact of assisting people who are affected”.

 

The IFRC has also been providing support to the National Society. Funds have been put aside to be utilized during the emergency phase.

Meanwhile Report issued by the Meteorological Department says that the rains might cease for a couple of days but more rains can be expected with the South – West monsoon establishing completely above the island. The Department expects heavy showers from the 29th of May 2017 onwards.

The National Building Research Organization also extended its landslide watch to 7 districts.

 

UPDATE 3 

27/05/2017 – Various Locations in Sri Lanka: According to Government Statistics by 26th May 2017, 1900hrs, 91 people have lost their lives and 110 people are still missing from flash floods and landslides in 7 districts of Sri Lanka. Over half a million people are affected from the inclement weather conditions.

According to the Met Department this severe weather condition could continue for another couple of days.

Meanwhile the National Building Research Organization (NBRO) also extended their landslide watch in another 24hrs.

The Sri Lanka Red Cross volunteers and first responders have been providing the necessary support to the affected people in coordination with Government Authorities.

Colombo

The SLRCS Colombo Branch responded to first aid requests and distributed relief items to people stranded in Jayawirugoda in Hanwella. Over 250 families were provided with NFRI items and safe drinking water. First Aid was also administered to people who were affected by floods in the area. 

 

Kalutara 

The SLRCS Kalutara branch has been providing ferry services to people stranded in Walalavita area. The branch took steps also to coordinate with Government Authorities and provided the necessary care and assistance in the coming days as well. In Kalutara over 12,000 people were affected while 38 people lost their lives from a landslide in the area. Many people are still missing.

Galle  

The SLRCS Galle Branch after discussion with Government Agents in the area launched a boat service to rescue people stranded in the area. In Galle alone around 30,638 people were affected from flash floods.

Matara 

The Matara Branch of Sri Lanka Red Cross responded to a request to provide food items to several families stranded in Malimbada and Thihagoda area. More coordination taking place with Government Authorities.

Rathnapura 

One of the worst affected districts, the Rathnapura SLRCS Branch deployed Branch Disaster Response Teams to Elapatha & Kalawana areas. Assesments are currently underway in Rathnapura in order to provide the needed relief and care. Over 4289 people are displaced and are housed at 38 temporary camps.

 

UPDATE 2 (1200hrs)

26/05/2017 – Various Locations, Sri Lanka:  13 people are dead and scores injured due to floods and landslides in various parts of Sri Lanka.

The Branch Disaster Response Teams of Sri Lanka Red Cross Branches in Rathnapura, Kalutara, Matara, Galle and Colombo have been deployed to assist people who are stranded by flood waters and to provide.

In Galle 1863 families are reported to be displaced. Severely affected areas are Kadawath Sathara & Habaraduwa. SLRCS Branch is currently engaging with authorities to send boats for rescue efforts and also to provide first aid to people stranded.

  

 

Meanwhile according to the Met Department as per the weather update released at 12oohrs shows more rain during the next 48hrs coupled with gusty winds. The Met Department also cautioned the public of lightning activity.

 

UPDATE 1

26/05/2017 – Colombo, Sri Lanka: Incessant rains during the past 48hrs across Sri Lanka has affected many people in 7 districts. Most affected was the Rathnapura district where over 20,000 people faced flash floods. The Branch Disaster Response Teams (BDRT) has been deployed in Ratnapura and volunteers are currently working with Government Authorities in order to provide the relief needed for people. Volunteers also engaged in certain areas evacuating people and bringing them to safe grounds.

In Galle, Neluwa, Tawalama, Niyagama, Baddegama areas were flooded. Earlier the Irrigation Department released a warning requesting people living near the river banks in key rivers to be vigilant of rising water levels. In most parts they have been requested to evacuate.

Landslide warning also been issued to 4 districts by the National Building Research Organization (NBRO).

Meanwhile the Met Department of Sri Lanka forecasts more rains for the next 24hrs.

Meanwhile here are some safety tips as to what you need to do during floods.

 

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