A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
The Northeast monsoon and activation of a depression in the south-east Bay of Bengal have been intensifying rainfall in Sri Lanka from 2 to 5 December 2020 where the northern province of Sri Lanka is worst affected. Sri Lanka’s Department of Meteorology has reported a maximum rainfall up to 279.8 millimetres in the northern province particularly in Jaffna and Kilinochchi districts. During this period two deaths have been reported in Jaffna district and the Government of Sri Lanka has declared a local level emergency in the Northern Province, hence schools and other institutions in the province were closed.
The continuous rains are still inundating most of the low-lying areas in the two districts and have caused damages to residential areas. As this situation is intensifying, agricultural lands and standing crops are also inundated and damaged as well as the infrastructures. As of 10th December, It is expected that this heavy rainfall is going to continue, which will have an impact and further exacerbate the capacity of vulnerable households in the affected areas. According to the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) situation report, as of 8 December 2020, 111,659 people (33,316 families) have been affected across 14 districts. According to the report, 106 houses are fully damaged, and 3,783 houses are partially damaged. A total of 15 evacuation centres are activated and 232 families are located in these centres.
The DMC is coordinating the national response efforts.
Due to heavy rain, the existing water and sanitation facilities in the communities are affected and inundated, the sewerage lines are open to public water facilities and contaminated. People living in low lying areas have also lost their basic amenities at household level. Initial reports from DMC reveal that there is a need for drinking water, wells and area cleaning, since water sources have been contaminated. In addition, households will require support to cover their immediate basic needs as the local employment opportunities have been reduced due to continuous rain and already existing COVID-19 pandemic that is affecting the households’ economic condition. Some water reservoirs are in spill level and there is possibility of releasing water to reduce the flood threat to other areas.
Though 14 districts have been affected to varying degrees, SLRCS considers covering the two most affected districts of Jaffna and Killinorchchi (Figure 1) due to the larger number of people affected and houses damaged. Click here to see the most affect areas