03/01/2013 – Colombo, Sri Lanka: Despite the inclement weather being stable for couple of days, while people around the world celebrated the New Year the number of people affected by the rain and floodwaters continues to grow in all parts of Sri Lanka.
As of 2nd January 2013, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) says around 400,000 people in 21 districts are victims of the inclement weather. The death toll increased to 43, while seven people are yet missing.
The floodwaters have destroyed over 4,000 homes and damaged over 20,000 others according to the latest assessment. They have also caused landslides, blocked transportation and wiped out thousands of acres of crops.
In the meantime, the number of the displaced people sheltered in evacuation centres has been decreasing as some families return to their homes. According to the latest reports, 1,650 families (5,284 people) are now in 33 evacuation centres, mostly schools and community centres.
Red Cross Action
Regardless of the festival season and New Year, volunteers and staff in Mannar, Vavuniya, Killinochchi, Mullative, Trincomalee and Anuradhapura branches are profoundly involved in the relief efforts. SLRCS Kurunegala, Polonnaruwa, Puttalam, Hambabtota and Matale branches are supporting the communities for early recovery interventions as people are returning to their homes.
At the request of the branches, SLRCS NHQ is mobilizing additional relief stocks to support immediate flood relief action to Mannar, Killinochchi, Mullative and Vavuniya affected by heavy rains. So far, SLRCS dispatched relief stocks to 12 districts and supported more than 6,000 families directly and 30,000 families (around 150,000 people) indirectly.
However, with additional request from government officials for more relief interventions to northern districts, SLRCS requested more support from its partners; ICRC has provided emergency household items (Bed sheets, sarongs, mugs, plates, towels, t-shirts, soaps and some cloths) and Hong Kong Red Cross through IFRC supported for emergency relief items procurement.
According to the SLRCS branches, cleaning of wells contaminated by flood, hospitals and community centres remain the priority.