ACT Alliance Alert: Sri Lanka Floods
On the morning of Sunday, the 20th of May 2018, with the provinces of Ratnapura, Kurunegala, Gampaha and Puttalam in particular (in total 19 provinces) being affected, Sri Lanka was flooded due to the onset of heavy monsoon rains. According to the situation update by the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) of Sri Lanka, as of 1200 hours on the 27th of May 2018, over 166,228 people (43,604 families) in 20 districts have been affected. As per the Report, 23 people have died, 13 have been injured and 1 person has been reported missing as a result of the heavy rains. More than 19,519 families have been evacuated into 339 welfare centres in 8 districts including the districts of Puttalam, Kegalle, Kalutara, Ratnapura, Gampaha and Colombo.
The Meteorological Department of Sri Lanka has reported that the southwest monsoon is still suppressed by the persisting wind circulation and is expected to be more settled by the middle of next week. The department has also highlighted that as per the observation of the rainfall of the last 24 hours which ended in the morning hours of 27th of May 2018, there has been a reduction of rainfall in all parts of the country, however some areas have received considerable rainfalls.
The National Disaster Relief Services Centre (NDRSC) has provided LKR 43.35 million cash allocations to the 12 District Secretaries to address the immediate needs of the affected populations.
According to the situation summary report of the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources and Disaster Management, relief operations were complemented and coordinated by NDRSC. Relevant sectors such as Military agencies, the Police and District Administration, Donor Agencies have been requested to work with NDRSC. Even though, relief operations were activated and implemented in a timely manner in the affected communities, there may still be some needs of drinking water in the coming few days due to the contamination of several water sources.
The floods have resulted in a state of crisis for over 20 districts in Sri Lanka. The flood affected persons find themselves in a desperate situation, with many unmet vital humanitarian needs, such as access to sufficient food, basic health services and facilities, safe shelter and basic non-food items
The dire situation is further compounded for flood affected people with vulnerabilities; people living with disabilities as well as women and children. There is a pressing need to provide immediate assistance to minimize the loss of life and to ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable are met first.