Aranayake landslide caused by change in the usage of land – Dr. Jagath Gunathilake

Aranayake landslide caused by change in the usage of land – Dr. Jagath Gunathilake

Aranayake landslide caused by change in the usage of land – Dr. Jagath Gunathilake

Written by Lahiru Fernando

03 Jun, 2016 | 9:48 pm

Another body of a person who was considered missing after the tragic landslide in the Samasara Mountain, Aranayake was found today (June 3), bringing the recovered bodies tally to 28.

According to the Kegalle District Secretary Abeywickrama Wanasuriya, 100 persons are still unaccounted for.

A backhoe loader was called in today for the renovation of a canal that was damaged following the landslide. The body which was decomposed beyond recognition, was discovered during the excavation.

Intellectuals from the Department of Geology of the University of Peradeniya visited the location of the landslide in the Samasara Mountain in Aranayake.

“Its clear when you look at this area. The starting area is not a natural forest, but a tea estate created after a deforestation. It is clear that a change in the usage of land, has caused this landslide.” – Dr. Jagath Gunathilake, Head of the Department of Geology – University of Peradeniya

Meanwhile 74 families from Kumburugama, Deraniyagala have been evacuated owing to a landslide risk following fission’s and ruptures being reported from the Mawatenna Mountain. According to the locals, a landslide occurred on the mountain seven years ago caused extensive damage to property.

Following the 2007 landslide, the displaced sought temporary refuge at a school in Udapola and returned to the location where a landslide risk persists as they were not given alternate lands to relocate. After the recent downpour, several locals had inspected the mountain and witnessed fission.

Later Officials from the National Building Research Organization had inspected the site and declared it a high risk zone, prompting the evacuation of the locals.

A total of 320 persons from 74 families are currently living in the local Temple inside a shed used for sermons which is 20ft by 30ft.

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