Fifteen dead, 73,000 families displaced
The death toll rose to 15 with nine persons missing from flash floods and land slides triggered by heavy rains since last Saturday. More than 73,000 families have been displaced by heavy flooding throughout the country, Disaster Management Ministry sources said yesterday.
The heavy rains, strong winds, lightning and falling trees destroyed 68 houses and damaged 1,300 houses.
Disaster Management Ministry officials are taking steps to minimize the impact of the disaster. The military is once again assisting the process of restoration.
“As of now, over 160 000 people have been evacuated to flood relief camps from their houses on low lying lands near rivers and beaches. They are being provided with cooked meals and are receiving medical treatment through services provided by divisional secretariats,” Disaster Management Ministry Additional Secretary Development Sidambarapullai Amaranathan said.
The ministry has set up 208 flood relief centers throughout the island. They are situated in 10 flood-hit districts.
They are none other than those districts marked as “flood-prone” by the Department of Irrigation for years. The floods have affected Kandy, Colombo, Galle, Kurunegala, Ratnapura, Gampaha, Nuwara Eliya , Matara, Kalutara and Puttalam districts. Explaining the Disaster Management Ministry’s work to help the affected, Amaranathan said: “We have released Rs. 17.8 million to the Divisional Secretariats to provide the flood victims with emergency relief material, such as food.
“We issued flash flood warnings to the communities and successfully vacated people from flood-prone areas saving hundreds of lives.”
According to him, over 72 000 families have been displaced by extensive floods and the total number of persons displaced is 370,067. (CDN)