14-18 May 2016: A tropical depression in the Bay of Bengal brought heavy rains across the country, triggering floods and a series of landslides that have affected thousands of lives and livelihoods, and caused widespread property damage. Initial reports indicated 22 out of Sri Lanka’s 25 districts are reported to be affected, among them Colombo, Gampaha, Kegalle, Kurunegala and Puttalam. More than 428,000 been affected, with more than 4000 houses damaged and more than 600 totally destroyed. Thousands of people have moved temporarily to camps to seek shelter. While most people have now reintegrated their home, as of 5 June 9,529 people (approx. 2,000 families) are still being hosted in camps.
21-22 May: A Joint National Assessment (JNA) was held with team with representation from the Disaster Management Centre (DMC), SLRCS, World Food Programme (WFP), and Family Planning Association (FPA) deployed to different areas (mostly heavily affected areas) for rapid assessments. Conclusions stated that most urgent needs were for WASH and Health in camps to clean wells and reestablish proper sanitation and drinking water. Livelihoods and shelter will need to be address quickly for those who have been displaced or loss their source of incomes (loss of agriculture, livestock, small businesses, etc.).
21-24 May: An Information Bulletin was issued and a Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) operation was launched on 21 May 2016. This DREF was used as a start-up loan for a subsequent emergency appeal of CHF 3.6 million that was launched on 24 May 2016. The appeal aimed to reach 40,000 people for emergency relief and recovery activities in the most affected areas mentioned above.
14 May- 5 June: SLRCS teams have been focused on providing immediate relief support to the affected people in the form of distribution of non-food relief items (NFRI), rapid assessments, emergency health care services through its medical camps (mobile clinics), well cleaning and restoring family link (RFL) services in collaboration with ICRC. Surge support from IFRC Country Cluster Support Team (CCST) in New Delhi and Asia Pacific regional office (APRO) were deployed to provide support to the teams. SLRC’s also provided additional relief efforts such as food distribution and additional NFRI with bilateral support from ICRC, PNS and external partnerships outside the scope of this Emergency Appeal.