Written by Staff Writer
12 Apr, 2019 | 8:36 pm
Colombo (News 1st): Sri Lanka is experiencing the warmest weather in the island in 140 years according to Professor Chanda Jayarathne of the Physical Sciences division of the Colombo University. The number of people affected by the arid weather has risen to over 572,000.
“With the dry weather, it is very hard to keep these animals alive.”
“People can’t do anything with this weather during the new year season.”
“It’s warm even if we go inside a room with air conditioning in it. It is a very trying time.”
“We fishermen have stopped about 90% of our operations as the heat from the sun is too much.”
The MET department stated that the North Central and Wayamba provinces, the Hambantota, Moneragala, Gampaha, Trincomalee, Mannar, Vavuniya, and Mullaitivu districts were hit by the extreme arid weather conditions.
Professor Chanda Jayarathne of the Physical Sciences division of the Colombo University said that an analysis on the data gathered had confirmed that there are a few reasons for the increase the global temperatures, every year in the month of April temperatures rise and during this time when the sun is at its peak the land in Sri Lanka heats up.
He went onto note that then the upper atmosphere of the earth heats up and the heated air particles travel upwards as their density is less. He said besides there is the El Nino effect and also during the past 4 years global temperatures have been gradually rising.
Speaking regarding the health issues during this time Deputy Director of the Kandy General Hospital Dr Nissanka Wijewardena warned the people that it is extremely warm weather from 10 am to 3 pm, therefore the public must shield themselves from the heat of the sun during this period.
He noted that it is important to consume liquids especially water to prevent dehydration. He requested the public to consume a lot of water, in order to prevent people from suffering heat strokes and dehydration.
The Department of Irrigation says that due to the prevailing weather conditions water levels of major reservoirs have decreased.
The water levels of the Abeya Wewa is at 55%, the Hurulu Wewa is at 75%, Mahakandarawa Wewa at 71%, the Mahawilachchiya reservoir is at 91% of its capacity, The Nachchaduwa reservoir is at 75% capacity and the Rajanganaya reservoir is at 81% capacity. The Tissa Wewa is at 47% of its total capacity.
According to the Irrigation Department, the water levels at all 6 reservoirs in the Badulla district are above 75%. All 4 reservoirs in the Batticaloa district are at 60% capacity.
The Department of irrigation further added that the water levels of the 11 reservoirs in the Hambanthota district are above 80% and the reservoirs in the Moneragala district are at less than 50% capacity.
This is what the Director of the Water Management unit of the Irrigation Department Wasantha Palugaswewa had to say,
“Although the Central areas are receiving rains, the water capacity at the main reservoirs in the central hills and the other reservoirs, in the North East, Kurunegala, Moneragala, and the North Central province are low, the rainfall in these areas are very low. Because of evaporation, the water levels of these reservoirs are reducing fast. However, we expect that we will be able to cultivate about 60% of farmable lands this season. The season meeting is being conducted accordingly.”
The power added to the national grid through hydropower plants has decreased considerably. Media spokesperson of the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy Sulakshana Jayawardena noted that about 1350 MW – a large amount of power, is supplied from hydropower plants.
He said that there are also small scale hydropower plants that supply about 390 MW of power. He went onto note that the arid weather conditions have severely affected the supply of this capacity of power and that there has been a reduction of over 300 MW of electricity production from hydropower plants.
Meanwhile, the Meteorological department predicts showers or thundershowers in the Central, Sabaragamuwa, Eastern, Uva, Wayamba, Western and North Central province. The department added that temperatures may reduce with the slight rains that are predicted.
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