Red Cross focuses on the 2nd phase of early recovery as longer term needs arise for Koslanda survivors

01/11/2014 – Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) with support from International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) & the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is now focusing on assisting early recovery needs of the people affected by the Koslanda landslide.

Currently there’s a dire need to ensure that people staying with the temporary camps have better latrine facilities, garbage disposal systems, ensuring that they are protected from diseases including vector borne diseases which are usually seen soon after a major disaster.

As of now the Red Cross is erecting over 30 mobile latrines in both camps that has been set up by the Government and our volunteers are assisting in maintaining the camps under the guidance of the Military and other Government Officials.

Meanwhile yesterday the SLRCS Relief Teams in Koslanda handed over  a stock of hand glouse and special sanitary bags for removal of human remains, to the  Army Commander Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake, in case more dead bodies were to be found later on.

“We are currently looking at how we can assist these people soon after the hype drops down” says the President of Sri Lanka Red Cross Jagath Abeysinghe.

He further said that relief work will continue for as long as it takes and SLRCS ensures proper support to the people living in risk areas that are prone towards landslides.

Currently discussions are underway with IFRC in order to release funds from the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) that would also ensure financial support for the early recovery efforts by the Red Cross.

In the long run SLRCS hopes to provide hygiene promotion programmes within these temporary camps and also to ensure a programme that will aid the many children that has become orphans from this tragedy.

Meanwhile according to the Department of Meteorology more rain is forecast in the next 24 hours and the National Building Research Organization continues to raise its warnings to seven districts that are still under their landslide watch.

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31/10/2014 – Koslanda, Sri Lanka (Update at 12.30 PM): The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) continues to support the people affected by the Koslanda landslide currently being housed at two temporary camps in Poonagala & Koslanda.

As of this morning Red Cross volunteers and officials assisting the search and rescue efforts in coordination with the Ministry of Disaster Management and the Military handed over a consignment of baby formula and other relief items, and also safe drinking water bottles. 100 body bags were also handed over to the Military today upon a request by the DM Ministry.

As of now we can confirm that 03 bodies have been recovered from the debris and an accurate calculation is underway to determined the number of missing. The landslide destroyed 66 houses in the Meeriyabadda village. A community hall, two milk collection stations, a Hindu Temple (Kovil), two shops and a communication was also destroyed from this disaster.

“Our volunteers and search and rescue teams have been assisting the Government Officials and the Military with the ongoing operation and this will continue until the said operation comes to a halt” says the President of Sri Lanka Red Cross Mr. Jagath Abeysinghe.

“We are also now looking at longer term support for the people affected, specially the children who have become orphans from this tragedy”

Meanwhile 7 districts are currently been monitored for possible landslide situation where Red Cross Volunteers are standing by to assist Government Officials in a possible evacuation. In Nuwara – Eliya Red Cross volunteers assisted in evacuating over 1200 people due to the threat of landslides. They are now housed at 15 evacuation centers in the district. The Red Cross is providing the required non-food relief items and first aid support in these centers.

Also in Moneragala several houses has been destroyed due to flash floods. Currently we are assessing the damage caused and will provide the necessary support in coordination with Government Authorities.

 

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30/10/2014 – Koslanda, Sri Lanka (Updated at 03.00 PM) : The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) has scaled up rescue efforts in order to support the people effected from the Koslanda landslide that occurred yesterday affecting over thousands of people.

Soon after the incident yesterday the SLRCS Badulla Branch deployed it’s first aid teams and volunteers to Meeriyabaddawatta in Koslanda. First Aid posts were set up at the location where over 120 persons were treated for minor injuries by this afternoon (30th October 2014).

Currently Red Cross Rescue & Relief Teams on the ground have also provided non food relief items (NFRI) to over 980 persons housed in two camps . The camps are located in Poonagala Tamil Maha Vidyalaya & the Koslanda Tamil Maha Vidyalaya. These relief kits include providing of hygiene utilities, bed sheets, sleeping mats and other relief items.

Meanwhile on a request made by the Disaster Management Ministry,  SLRCS has installed 09 mobile latrines in the two camps  where the survivors are housed at.

The Director General of Sri Lanka Red Cross Tissa Abeywickrama said “since mornings hours of today (30th Oct 14) Red Cross volunteers & staff were promptly mobilized at the landslide hit Meeriyabeddawatta, Koslanda  joined together with Govt Authorities are supporting affected people with first aid, relief items such as sleeping mats, bedsheets, sarongs, tarpaulin etc.”

He further said that on the guidance of the Disaster Management Ministry the Red Cross continuous support to affected people in Koslanda and Punagala displaced camps.

The Red Cross is now part of the Disaster Management Centre Operations Unit and are coordinating relief efforts in collaboration with the Disaster Management Ministry, Government Agents and other authorities on the ground. Meanwhile the Disaster Management Centre in coordination with the Department of Meteorology  continue to warns of more rainy conditions in the next 24 hours. This has triggered several landslide warnings by the National Building Research Organization (NBRO) specially in the Central and Uva Provinces.

Public is alerted to be cautioned about these warnings and to take safety measures.

 

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30/10/2014 – Koslanda, Sri Lanka (Updated at 10.00 AM) : Sri Lanka Red Cross Society’s Badulla branch had immediately mobilized first aid teams to the landslide location in Koslanda in the Badulla District. As of this morning (30th October 2014) Non Food Relief Items were distributed to over 200 families located at the Tamil Maha Vidyalaya in Koslanda, the location of the camp housing survivors.

The Police put the death toll from the landslide at 10. According to the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) around 190 persons are still missing while bodies are been discovered from the rubble so far. Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Army has warned, that public gathering in the affected area is risky, due to the continued threat of landslides.

The relief items distributed by Red Cross has reached over  500 people benefiting for  basic needs such as hygiene utilities, bedsheets, sleeping mats etc.

Around 10 volunteers from Badulla branch and Ratnapura in the operation. As of now over 40 people have been assisted in First Aid from the support provided by the Red Cross.

Currently as per a request made by the DMC the Red Cross is installing mobile toilets to be used by the people housed at the Poonagala Tamil Maha Vidyalaya temporary camp.

The Director General of Sri Lanka Red Cross Tissa Abeywickrama said “since mornings hours of today (30th Oct 14) Red Cross volunteers & staff were promptly mobilised at the landslide hit Meeriyabeddawatta, Koslanda  joind together with Govt Authorities are supporting affected people with first aid, relief items such as sleeping mats, bedsheets, sarongs, tarpaulin etc.”

He further said that on the guidance of the Disaster Management Ministry the Red Cross continuous support to affected people in Koslanda and Punagala displaced camps.  More relief has been sent  from Colombo last night.

The Red Cross is now part of the Disaster Management Centre Operations Unit and are coordinating relief efforts in collaboration with the Disaster Management Ministry, Government Agents and other authorities on the ground.

Meanwhile the Disaster Management Centre in coordination with the Meterological Department continue to warns of more rainy conditions in the next 24 hours. This has triggered several landslide warnings by the National Building Research Organization (NBRO) specially in the Central and Uva Provinces.

Public is alerted to be cautioned about these warnings and to take preemptive measures.

 

 

This is an evolving story … please await for updates as it becomes available. 

 

Below 3 images Courtesy – AFP.

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