Written by Zulfick Farzan
09 Nov, 2021 | 1:29 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lanka Army personnel engaged in a rescue operation to evacuate 50 families from Polgahawela, following a torrential downpour experienced in the area.
Sri Lanka Army troops, alert to the developing adverse weather patterns across the country on the instructions of General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army have already commenced their evacuation, rescue and relief operations in worst-hit areas as per directions of respective Commanders, Security Forces and General Officers Commanding in Divisions.
Troops of the 12 Sri Lanka Engineers (SLE) of the 612 Brigade under the 61 Division of the Security Force HQ – West (SFHQ-West) with the objective of pre-empting a vulnerable landslide warning in Mahakalupahana mountain range immediately evacuated 42 members, belonging to 11 families to the Wijesundararamaya temple premises early this morning (9) after a ‘red alert’ warning was issued by respective authorities.
Using their own vehicles, a group of more than 25 soldiers including officers evacuated them within minutes of the warning as per directions of the Commanding Officer, 12 SLE. At the same time, another batch of troops on the instructions of the Commander, Security Forces – West was deployed to provide security to the property and valuables of those households until they return after emergency conditions are over. 612 Brigade Commander is currently supervising those evacuating operations.
In the meantime, 1 Sri Lanka National Guard (SLNG) troops serving the 143 Brigade of the 14 Division under the SFHQ-West early this morning (9) using Army boats and vehicles began rescuing a few more than members in 50 families from Godawela, Polgahawela area, completely submerged by floodwaters. Accordingly, troops ferried many of them to safer places and nearby temples and other public places, convenient to them.
At the same time, 1 SLNG Commanding Officer deployed a team of Army personnel to provide security to those affected houses until flood threats recede from those areas.
Meanwhile, troops of the 58 Division of the 1 Corps of the Army and 143 Brigade troops were immediately dispatched to the Nedunkulam tank area in Puttalam which is on the verge of overflowing and vulnerable to any breach of the tank bund.
As of this morning (9), those troops after alerting villagers, resident in adjacent areas have started to lay sand bags along vulnerable points around the tank bund in order to strengthen its bund and avoid any further threat with spilling water levels. Those operations are closely monitored by the General Officer Commanding, 58 Division on the directions of Major General Harendra Ranasinghe, Commander, 1 Corps and the 143 Brigade Commander on the instructions of the General Officer Commanding, 14 Division under the SFHQ-West.
Similarly, troops serving flood-threatened Galle, Baddegama, Thihariya, Baduraliya, Kukuleganga, Dodangoda, Alawwa, Udubaddawa, Pannala, Bingiriya, Weerabugedara, Rasnayakapura, Narammala, Paduwasnuwara East and several other areas are fully on standby to meet with any worsening weather conditions in consultation with their respective Commanding Officers.
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