Sri Lanka: Floods and Landslides - May 2018
The southwest monsoon weather conditions have caused rainfalls since 19 May 2018 in the southwest parts of the island. By 21 May, the precipitation triggered a flood and landslide situation in the country, which has affected thousands of lives and livelihoods, as well as caused property damage. According to the situation update by the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) of Sri Lanka confirmed that a total of 153,7122 people in 19 districts have been affected and 20 people have died due heavy rains, strong winds, lightning and landslides. Currently, 19,519 families have been evacuated into 339 welfare centres. Puttalam, Gampaha, Ratnapura, Colombo, Kurunegala, Kalutara and Kegalle are amongst the worst affected districts. The water levels of two main rivers, Kalu Ganga and Attanagalu-oya, are still at flood levels, but slowly receding. Some water reservoir gates are opened and release water to reduce the flood threat to other areas. Landslide warnings are still active in some districts due to the risk of landslides and power cuts and failures.
The DMC has reported the need for drinking water, wells and area cleaning, since water sources have been contaminated. The DMC is coordinating the national response efforts. The National Disaster Relief Service centre has released 44.15 million Sri Lankan rupees (approx. CHF 276,000 Swiss francs) for the response.
According to the previous experiences and scientific figures on climate condition in South Asia country including Sri Lanka, this is just the beginning of the annual monsoon season, and it is expected that the weather condition might be getting worst and extreme in the coming months. (IFRC, 30 May 2018)
As of 1 June 2018, water levels in all major rivers had decreased and flood victims in over 200 welfare centres had returned to their homes. The flood affected 174,310 persons from 45,680 families. Twenty six persons were reported dead. The Puttlam district had the highest number of victims stranded at safety centres, as well as the highest numbers in flood damage with 96 critical infrastructure, and 53 fully damaged houses. Colombo recorded the highest number of partially damaged houses with a total of 2,270. While waiting for the damage assessment report, the National Disaster Relief Service Centre (NDRSC) disbursed Rs. 25 million to meet the costs of immediate response, in addition to Rs. 55.45 million provided for emergency relief assistance. (Govt. of Sri Lanka, 4 Jun 2018)
As of 12 June, the DMC has reported that close to 175,000 people have been affected across 19 districts, and 26 people killed. Puttalam, Gampaha, Ratnapura, Colombo, Kurunegala, Kalutara and Kegalle are amongst the worst affected districts. (ECHO, 12 Jun 2018)
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Twenty-five (25) houses built under the "Senehe Siyapatha" housing project were presented to beneficiary families during a ceremony graced by the State Minister of Defence Hon. Ruwan Wijewardene at the "Senehase Gammanaya" in Eheliyagoda, on Tuesday (28 August). The housing beneficiaries are families affected by the recent floods in the Ratnapura District.
Description of the disaster
The National Dengue Control Unit says that there is an increase in the number of dengue patients with the active South West monsoon rains. As there are many places where rain water can accumulate, the risk of mosquito breeding has increased, according to the National Dengue Control Unit.