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Latest Disaster Incident in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka recent flooding causes Rs. 30 billion loss

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Colombo, 11 January, (Asiantribune.com)

The most devastating floods that had battered the Eastern coast of Sri Lanka and wreaked havoc in most parts of the island had cost the emerging economy a staggering Rs. 30bn or US $ 27mn.

This is slated to be worse than the Cyclone of 1978, which devastated the low-lying district of Batticaloa and displaced nearly one million persons. Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera told media recent flooding were the worst experienced in the districts of Batticaloa and Ampara since 1913.

Sri Lanka Air Force has already deployed Bell 212 helicopters to rescue those stranded in Batticaloa and Ampara and so far 24 persons had been rescued. Meanwhile Sri Lanka Army has mobilised nearly 1,000 troops to assist rescue and relief efforts. Provincial education authorities in the flood-affected Eastern, Central and North Central ordered all schools in the provinces to close until next Monday.

National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) alerted the public that hill country districts such as Kandy and Nuwar Eliya were highly vulnerable to landslides. Disaster Management Center said so far heavy rains have affected over 758,000 people island-wide while floods and landslide have claimed nine lives mainly in the hill capital of Kandy.

According to Asian Disaster Reduction Center ADRC?the 1978 cyclone alone affected more than one million people, killed nearly a thousand persons, partially and completely damaged nearly 250,000 houses, destroyed 90 percent of the coconut plantation in the Batticaloa district and resulted in the government having to spend over Rs.600 million to bring immediate relief to those affected. Also cyclones and floods of severe intensity struck Sri Lanka in 1922, 1931 and 1964. Cyclone of 1978 incurred damages amounting to nearly 3.78 percent of the GDP while floods of 1992 caused losses close to 1.03 percent of the GDP.

Over 200,000 acres of paddy land destroyed by floods in Sri Lanka

By : A.A.M.Nizam in Colombo, 11 January 2011, (Asiantribune.com)

Heavy rains, landslides, and strong gusty winds continue to devastate several districts in Sri Lanka, with looming danger of an outbreak of water-born epidemics. The floods have inundated 200,000 acres of paddy lands in the 5 major paddy cultivation districts and it is estimated that rice harvest in the next season may go down by over 360,000 tons which could precipitate a food shortages in the country in the coming months. In the 4 districts of Anuradhapura, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Batticaloa 200 Tanks and reservoirs have been damaged and another 300 Tanks and Reservoirs are reported to be in critical conditions.

The Disaster Management Centre of the Ministry of Disaster Management informed the Asian Tribune that over 835,575 persons belonging to 220,265 families in 12 districts have been victimized by floods and land-slides. 123,732 persons belonging to 32,078 families are presently housed in 334 relief assistance camps. The death-toll has risen to 14 persons. 4,110 houses have been partially damaged while 932 houses have been completely destroyed. Majority of the victims are from the Batticaloa district, which received a rainfall of 317 millimeters yesterday. This is the highest rainfall recorded in the district for the last 100 years.

The Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera is presently camped in the Eastern Province, to personally oversee relief assistance work being carried out, informed the Asian Tribune that the loss to the Sri Lankan economy by the current and recent floods amounts to over Rs. 80 Billion. Yesterday, he held discussions with the relevant officials about relief measures being undertaken in the Ampara district, and is scheduled to visit and inspect the situation in Batticaloa today.

Unfavorable weather to continue in Sri Lanka

By Ashwin Hemmathagama – Colombo, 11 January, (Asiantribune.com)

From yesterday onwards, due to the influence of the atmospheric disturbances, the showery weather with strong winds at times will continue over most parts of the country during the next 36 hours, according to Department of Meteorology. Heavy rains are expected in the Eastern, North-Central, Uva, Northern and Central provinces and in the Hambantota district.

According to Disaster Management Centre some 750,817 people belonging to 198,147 families have been affected by floods caused by the torrential rains with strong winds in several districts in the country. Batticaloa, Ampara, Trincomalee, Polonnaruwa, Nuwara Eliya, Moneragala, Kandy, Badulla, and Kegalle Districts are among the badly affected by floods. The flood victims are now housed in 138 camps. The rains have also destroyed 132,000 acres of paddy cultivation.

Carrying out relief operations, Sri Lanka Army has deployed over 1,000 of its troops while the Sri Lanka Navy dispatched boats to rescue people who were marooned by floods. Yesterday Sri Lanka Air Force helicopters rescued 11 persons marooned due to heavy floods in Tampitiya and Bogamuyaya in the Batticaloa district. Meanwhile, Minister of Disaster Management Mahinda Amaraweera proceeded to Ampara District on a fact finding tour to see the people affected by floods in the District with several lorry loads of relief assistance items including tents, food, drinking water and other essentials. All schools will also be closed for tomorrow in Central, North Central and Eastern province.

Sri Lanka depends on monsoon rains for irrigation and power generation. However, due to heavy down pour since December last year, the Ceylon Electricity board has switched off all its thermal power plants and geared the hydro power to its fullest capacity making the country to save over SLR 100 million daily.