Heavy floods in North and East displace thousands, reservoirs overflow

Report
from Government of Sri Lanka
Published on 08 Dec 2019 View Original

Thousands of people have been displaced as a result of torrential rains in Northern and Eastern provinces, the Disaster Management Center (DMC) reported. According to the latest report released by the Disaster Management Center, in Eastern Province over 79,000 people are affected by the floods and 2,507 people from 798 families have been displaced. In Batticaloa district 51,434 people from 15,019 families have been affected due to heavy rains and 2,303 people have been relocated to 15 shelters, according to the Batticaloa District Secretary Manikkam Udayakumar. The government has allocated Rs. 1.7 million for the provision of cooked meals to the displaced people at shelters and dry rations to the people temporarily staying with friends and relatives.

The District Secretariat has requested Rs. 16.6 million from the Disaster Management Center to provide relief to all those affected by the floods and inclement weather. Meanwhile, in the five districts of the Northern Province 64,448 people are affected by the floods while 8,478 people from 2,611 families have been displaced. They are accommodated at 56 shelters. Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts are the worst affected in Northern Province. In Kilinochchi, 23,344 people have been affected while 6,090 people have been displaced. In Mullaitivu, mostly in Puthukkudiyiruppu, 30,020 have been affected. Overall in the island 235,906 people of 70,000 families are affected by the adverse weather and 13,310 people from 4,083 families have been displaced. Relief for the victims continues uninterrupted, the DMC said.

Meanwhile, sluice gates of several reservoirs have been opened in Anuradhapura.Irrigation Director Engineer TJ Meegasthenna says that the opening of the sluice gates of the reservoirs Anuradhapura could cause flooding in and around the city and in Mannar district.Four sluice gates of Rajanganaya Reservoir have been opened releasing 8900 cubic feet of water per second, while reducing the water released to Kala Oya. Two gates of the Angamuwa Reservoir have been opened 2 feet releasing 1230 cubic feet per second to Kala Oya. Thissa Wewa, Abhaya Wewa and Mahawilachchiya reservoir are spilling over. Four sluice gates of Nuwara Wewa opens have been opened delivering 400 cubic feet of water per second to the Malwathu Oya. Two sluice gates Mahakanadarawa Wewa are opened releasing 2230 cubic feet per second to Malwathu Oya. Four open gates of Nachchaduwa reservoir releases 4900 cubic feet per second to Malwathu Oya.All the gates of the Halpan Canal have been opened. Five sluice gates of the Yan Oya Reservoir have been opened and 13,450 cubic feet of water per second has been released into the Yan Oya.

Many low lying areas of the Mahaweli River are flooded as the river overflows. The historic Somawathiya sacred site is also about 8 feet under water. Elephants in the surrounding forests were seen standing near the temple grounds, the state TV reported. Essential food items to the monks and others are provided by boats.Several earth slips have been reported from the upcountry hill areas. The earth mound which fell into the Diyatalawa-Bandarawela section of the upcountry railway line is still being removed by the Army. The train service from Colombo is limited to Diyatalawa. The Meteorology Department meanwhile predicts the prevailing showery condition over the island particularly in the Northern, North-Central, Eastern and Uva provinces to enhance to some extent on 09 and 10 December.The sea areas extending from Mullaitivu to Negombo via Kankasanthurai, Mannar and Puttalam can be rough at times as the wind speed can increase up to (50-55) kmph at times.