Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka - Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 2

Situation Report
Originally published
Ref. OCHA/GVA - 2003/0021
OCHA Situation Report No. 2
Sri Lanka - Floods
27 January 2003

This report is based on information received from the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Delegation in Sri Lanka, as well as media reports.


1. Heavy rainfall during the month of December 2002 hit the Eastern Province and parts of the north central province of Sri Lanka, and led to flooding in the districts of Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Amparai, and Puttalam.

2. According to the Government Agent, more than 100,000 families were affected and the estimated number of displaced families was around 17,500 (about 80,000 persons). Nevertheless, no loss of lives has been reported.

3. Many infrastructures were seriously damaged. Roads were cut between Kandy, Jaffna and Colombo. The bridge to the Jaffna peninsula was also submerged. About 5,000 mud huts were destroyed. The floods also affected the paddy fields in the Batticaloa and Amparai districts.


4. The Ministry of Social Welfare, with its National Disaster Management Center was coordinating the relief actions undertaken by UN agencies, NGOs and the Red Cross/Red Crescent. Local Government authorities addressed the most immediate basic relief items for the victims, such as cooked food and dry rations. The Government released USD12,500 for the Batticaloa district. The allocation of funds also included USD 4,186 to Kilinoshi, USD 3,140 to Anaradhapura, USD 5,233 to Polonnaruwa, USD 2,095 to Trincomalee district USD 2,095 to Ampara district. The Social Services Department has also granted USD 37,676 for the flood victims. Public buildings were put at the disposal of displaced families. During the last weeks, the government authorities have conducted chlorination of wells contaminated.


5. The UN was requested by the Government to assist 2,000 families displaced and in need of assistance. UN agencies have distributed, blankets, mats, kitchen utensils and buckets through NGOs. The World Food Programme (WFP) also provided food from its stocks in the warehouses in Vavuniya and Colombo. UNICEF organised daily meetings to ensure the exchange of information and the follow-up of the situation.

6. The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) assessed the situation in the most severely hit districts and deployed a team to release some of its non-food relief stocks to the most needy families in

7. Batticaloa and Ampara. Together with MSF, they monitored the water and sanitation situation in some districts.

8. No official Government request for international assistance has been received.

9. This is the last report for this disaster unless there are unforeseen developments.

10. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers:
Mr. R. Muller /Ms. Héloïse Ruaudel/Ms. Caroline Péguet
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 31 31 /17 69/17 28

Press contact:
(in GVA) - Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53
(in N.Y.) - Ms. Stephanie Bunker, direct Tel. +1-212-963 87 40

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit