Extreme Weather – The aftermath, warnings and silver linings

Extreme Weather – The aftermath, warnings and silver linings

By Lahiru Fernando

31 May, 2017 | 3:54 pm

The Department of Meteorology forecasts that there is a possible reduction in heavy rain and strong winds by Wednesday, May 31. The reduction would see winds which were said to be upto around 80 kp/h being reduced to 50 kp/h over the country, which is still fairly strong.

Showers or thundershowers will occur at several places in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern and Central provinces and in the Puttalam district, stated the Met Department. 

Predictions for the  districts of Ampara and Batticaloa, as well as the Uva province, are that  showers or thundershowers will be experienced in the afternoon.

The aftermath

The Death toll – 202
Missing – 96
Injured – 63
Affected – Over 600,000 people

  • The Disaster Management Center says that rescue operations in search of the missing are still in motion.

Evacuations in multiple areas

Around 121 people have reportedly been evacuated from Balangoda, Imbulpe and Watakululanda areas which fall under the purview of Pinnawala Udagama District Secretariat due to possible landslides.

Balangoda receieved heavy rainfall on Tuesday, May 30 causing disruption of power supply to a number of areas.

More destruction….

A landslide completely destroyed a house in Panawala, Eheliyagoda on Tuesday.

While there are two other houses which are under the direct threat of being damaged by a possible landslide, fissures have been reported in a few places in Bopathakanda.

Worryingly, the residents around Bopathakanda say that relevant officials of Eheliyagoda Divisional Secretariat are yet to take action though they have been informed of the matter.

Water levels on the drop…

Some good news during these dark, trouble days: Residents of Angammana, Kodigamuwa, Thiriwana Gatiya and Mangedera in Ratnapura district returned to their houses following the drop in flood waters.

However it’s not all good news as other low-lying parts of Ratnapura are still underwater.

In Baddegama, Galle – though the water levels are gradually receding, it stood at 5.03 metres early on Wednesday.

Announcing more good news, Irrigation Department officials say that water levels on some roads may recede completely within Wednesday.

Sirasa-Shakthi Suwa Yathra

Day 2 – The Suwa Yathara, launched to provide medical services to those affected by the floods and landslides is en-route to the Ratnapura District.

The Suwa Yathra aims to reach out to the people who are still stranded following the heavy rains and landslides that ravaged the island over the past few days.

The initiative will also provide much needed medical assistance to those who need it.