Sri Lanka: Floods and Landslides - May 2017
Incessant rains during the past 48 hours across Sri Lanka has affected over half a million people in 7 districts. Most affected was the Rathnapura district where over 20,000 people faced flash floods. In Galle, Neluwa, Tawalama, Niyagama, Baddegama areas were flooded. (Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, 26 May 2017)
The most severely impacted district is Galle, where 142,149 people (36,314 families) have reportedly been affected. Fatalities have been reported in Gampaha, Galle, Hambantota, Kalutara, Kegalle, Matara and Ratnapura districts, with 46 deaths reported in Ratnapura alone...The UN received an initial request from the Government on 26 May 2017 related to search and rescue efforts. UN agencies are currently supporting the Government’s relief efforts in coordination and mobilizing resources...UNICEF will donate water containers, water purification tablets and tarpaulin sheets to the Disaster Management Centre (DMC). WHO will be supporting the Ministry of Health to deploy medical teams to the affected districts. WFP and UNDP are supporting the DMC with information management. UN OCHA will provide additional human resources for coordination with Government and Humanitarian Partners. Search and Rescue efforts are on standby from neighbouring countries and can be deployed if needed. (United Nations Sri Lanka, 27 May 2017)
It is estimated that at least 150,000 are women and girls of reproductive age and over 189,000 children are affected by the disaster. To complement the ongoing Government-led response, the HCT is seeking US$22.7 million to address the critical life-saving and protection needs of 374,000 people in seven districts from 1 June to 31 October 2017. (UNRC Office, 2 Jun 2017)
The UN Central Emergency Response Fund has allocated up to US$4 million to address the critical emergency shelter and non-food item, water, sanitation and hygiene, health and food security needs of 120,000 people in Galle, Matara, Kalutara and Ratnapura districts. The Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs is currently carrying out needs assessments to plan for mid-to-long term recovery for the affected areas. (OCHA, 12 Jun 2017)
As of 21 June (1200hrs, UTC+5:30), an estimated 415,600 people are affected in 12 districts, of which approximately 30% are children according to UNICEF. A total of 213 deaths have been confirmed and 76 people remain missing. Over 3,000 houses have been destroyed and 21,000 are partially damaged. Just over 3,400 people remain temporarily displaced in 73 safe locations in affected districts. (UNRC Office, 22 Jun 2017)
There is an increase in the number of dengue cases in Sri Lanka this year...The current dengue outbreak follows, which affected 600 000 people in 15 of the 25 districts in the country. (WHO, 11 Jul 2017)
Since the launch of the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) Emergency Response Plan, the Disaster Management Centre has confirmed that 213 people have been killed as a result of flooding and landslides caused by heavy rainfall and strong monsoon winds that hit on 25 and 26 May 2017. Humanitarian needs include access to safe, clean water for drinking and household use. Ensuring the safety of temporary shelters for displaced people remains a key priority. Humanitarian agencies continue to work alongside local partners to address the needs of affected communities. (UN RC, 10 Aug 2017)
As of 26 August, as many as 971 people remained displaced in 17 safe locations across three districts (Kalutara, Hambantota, and Ratnapura). (WHO, 28 Aug 2017)
Appeals & Response Plans
Colombo – USAID and IOM, the UN Migration Agency, this week handed over new transitional homes to 120 families affected by the May 2017 floods and landslides in the Rathnapura district of Sri Lanka.
The homes, which were built by IOM in Dombagammana village over the past three months, will house some 445 people, including 194 children. The families either lost their homes to floods and landslides or were unable to return home due to the ongoing risk of landslides.
A ceremony to donate 300 tonnes of rice to Sri Lanka’s flood victims was held by the government and the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) on 24 February at Pinlekoethwe rice mill in Dagon Seikkan Indistrial Zone.
Dr Than Myint, Union Minister for the Commerce Ministry, and other officials, along with Mr. K.W.N.D Karunaratne, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Myanmar, and officials from the MRF attended the event.
The donation is a humanitarian aid for victims of the flood and landslide in May 2017, which killed more than 200 people and rendered 600,000 homeless.
Summary of the operation update:
In 2017, South Asia was impacted by large-scale natural and human-caused disasters.
This report evaluates the impact of the natural disasters and extreme weather events that occurred worldwide during 2017 and provides an overview of global economic losses.
Sri Lanka was once again affected by severe floods and landslides, in May 2017. While the spread of disaster situation was confined only to 15 districts compared to the 24 districts in the previous year, increased incidents of landslides and deaths in 2017 made the situation equally challenging.