Sri Lanka: Floods Emergency Plan of Action (MDRLK008)

A. Situation analysis

Description of the Disaster

The southwest monsoon weather conditions have caused rainfalls since 19 May 2018 in the southwest parts of the island. By 21 May, the precipitation triggered a flood and landslide situation in the country, which has affected thousands of lives and livelihoods, as well as caused property damage. According to the situation update by the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) of Sri Lanka confirmed that a total of 153,7122 people in 19 districts have been affected and 20 people have died due heavy rains, strong winds, lightning and landslides. Currently, 19,519 families have been evacuated into 339 welfare centres. Puttalam, Gampaha, Ratnapura, Colombo, Kurunegala, Kalutara and Kegalle are amongst the worst affected districts. The water levels of two main rivers, Kalu Ganga and Attanagalu-oya, are still at flood levels, but slowly receding. Some water reservoir gates are opened and release water to reduce the flood threat to other areas. Landslide warnings are still active in some districts due to the risk of landslides and power cuts and failures.

The DMC has reported the need for drinking water, wells and area cleaning, since water sources have been contaminated. The DMC is coordinating the national response efforts. The National Disaster Relief Service centre has released 44.15 million Sri Lankan rupees (approx. CHF 276,000 Swiss francs) for the response.

According to the previous experiences and scientific figures on climate condition in South Asia country including Sri Lanka, this is just the beginning of the annual monsoon season, and it is expected that the weather condition might be getting worst and extreme in the coming months.