Within 48hrs, over 200,000 people affected in 19 districts due to inclement weather

Posted on Monday, May 16th, 2016

17/05/2016 – Colombo, Sri Lanka: In the past 48hrs over 226,378 people living in 19 districts are affected by flash floods and landslides in Sri Lanka owing to an adverse weather conditions over the country. 8 people were also killed earlier in the day to a landslide.

Over 100,000 people were evacuated and are now housed at temporary camps.

The hardest hit district is Gampaha, where over 179,000 people affected by flash floods. Roads were inundated and the rains continued for a second day.

The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society’s Gampaha Branch deployed their Disaster Response Teams in the aftermath of flash floods. Teams were sent to Biyagama & Dompe areas. Here branch volunteers assisted in providing first aid, dry rations. In close coordination with the Government authorities, Red Cross volunteers also assisted in the evacuation process.

Assessments of the damage caused are also underway in all parts of the island by volunteers of the Red Cross.

Meanwhile more rains have been forecasted by the Department of Meteorology for the next 48hrs. Despite the cyclonic system moving away from Sri Lanka, it will dump more rain prior to its exit.

16/05/2016 – Colombo, Sri Lanka: 4186 families living in 10 districts are affected due to the inclement weather conditions across Sri Lanka in the past 24hrs, that saw over 300 mm of rain for some areas of Sri Lanka.

According to the Disaster Management Centre, no major incidents were reported. Mainly flash floods and minor landslides have affected the people in risk prone areas.

The Meteorological Department says the disturbance in the Bay of Bengal to the South east of Sri Lanka has developed in to a low pressure area and now located over Batticaloa coast. It is likely to intensify further in to a depression and likely to continue affecting the weather over the country and surrounding sea areas. However it is expected to move away from Sri Lanka by tomorrow towards India.

Red Cross response

24hrs prior with the declaration of a cyclonic condition by the Met Department prompted the Disaster Management Department to put all branches across Sri Lanka to be on alert. Accordingly branch disaster response teams and disaster assessment teams along side volunteers were put on stand by to respond to any disaster.

Thus far our volunteers and branch support staff has been assisting in minor incidents, such as evacuating of people who’ve face flash floods, assisting authorities to clear roads blocked by fallen debris. The branch officials are working closely with Government authorities to provide any support in the situation worsens.

Our Colombo Branch today also took steps to provide non food relief items to over 400 people in Wadullawatta, Kolonnawa. President of Sri Lanka Red Cross Mr. Jagath Abeysinghe was also present during the distribution. This is one of the most affected areas where shanty dwellers live and the Red Cross has been working closely with this community for sometime.

In Kegalle, our branch disaster response teams assisted families to evacuate after they were affected by floods. Steps were also taken to provide support to families who are now been house in a temporary camp.

Meanwhile alerts have been issued by both National Building Research Organization (NBRO) and the Water & Irrigation Department requesting the public to be caution of over the possibility of landslides or busting of river banks due to overspilling of rivers.