Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Floods and Landslide Revised Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) MDRLK006

Situation Report
Originally published


A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

In May 2017, the activation of South-West Monsoon weather conditions caused heavy rainfalls in the South-Eastern parts of the island. This triggered a major flood and landslide situation in the country, affecting thousands of lives, livelihoods and damages to properties. Disaster Management Centre (DMC) confirmed that 15 districts were affected due the heavy rains, strong winds and landslides. Matara, Kalutara, Galle, Ratnapura, Gampaha and Colombo are amongst the severely affected districts.

Intensity of the floods increased due to release of water from small and medium reservoirs, which rose the water levels of rivers and water streams and caused heavy influx of flash floods. Reaching the affected people were difficult due to the prevailing high-water levels and landslides in access roads. Power cuts in highly affected areas caused limited telecommunication access to affected people and relief workers as well. Roads (including the national highways) were inundated in many places causing heavy traffic congestions across the affected areas, destructing the transportation of goods and services.

According to DMC, as of 2nd week of June 2017, at least 658,490 people (153,852 families) were affected, 213 people died, 79 people were missing, 150 were injured by floods and landslide. 185 camps were established with about 4,736 families sheltered temporarily. At least 2,788 houses were fully destroyed and 18,417 houses were partially damaged by the disaster. The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) declared a ‘state of natural disaster situation’ and appealed internationally to support the response and rehabilitation efforts.

Summary of the current response

Overview of Host National Society

Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) was in the forefront providing assistance since the onset of the floods. As the situation unfolded, SLRCS branches activated their branch disaster response teams (BDRTs) which supported the operations since 25 May 2017. Three National disaster response teams (NDRT) members were deployed to branches. Furthermore, branch volunteers were involved in conducting both 24-hour and 72-hour assessments, distribution of non- food items (NRI), dry food and dry rations, search and rescue operations, provision of first aid, and coordination meetings with the GoSL, DMC and international non-government organizations (INGO’s).

The following activities were conducted in the initial relief phase; first aid services, medical camps, well cleaning, hygiene promotion, house cleaning, distribution of non-food items (NFI), and Restoring Family Links (RFL).

After the initial relief phase, the focus of activities moved to early recovery/recovery phase, in the four most affected districts (Kalutara, Ratnapura, Galle and Matara). The affected areas in Gampaha and Colombo were less and people have returned to normal living situation.

Under the early recovery/recovery following activities were conducted; unconditional cash grant of LKR 10,000 (CHF 69) for 800 people to support, NFI procurement, livelihood cash grant program to assist 400 families with LKR 50,000 (CHF 345), and to enhance National Societies (NS) preparedness for response by conducting trainings for volunteers and staff.

A Shelter Coordination team of three staff, (Coordinator, Information Management-IM and national staff IM coordinator) was deployed until 30 November 2017. They provided coordination services in support of the Sri Lanka government for the shelter sector and assessed the local context for defining an adequate sectoral response.

One FACT (Cash) delegate from British Red Cross was deployed for one month and one RDRT operations surge support from New Zealand Red Cross was deployed for three months, and IFRC Country Cluster Support Team (CCST) in Delhi deployed Senior Officer, Operations for flood response support for three weeks.

Upon successful completion of the planned activities, and with the savings made due to exchange fluctuations (rupee depreciation) timeframe was extended till 31 July 2018. Considering the request from the National Society, a further extension of the time frame is requested till 31 December 2018. The main focus during the period will be on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) aspect and National Society capacity building.

Sri Lanka: Floods and Landslides Emergency appeal revision n° 1 - (Revised) Appeal n° MDRLK006