- News, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka : Heavy rains to continue. Death toll rises to nine

The death toll from stormy weather rose to nine by yesterday afternoon while eight other persons were injured. More than 68,343 people from 18,079 families in 19 districts have been affected and 6,090 people (1,625 families) removed to 80 safe locations, according to Disaster Management Centre (DMC).

The DMC said 918 houses had been damaged and 19 others destroyed. The highest number of affected people was reported from Ratnapura District; it was 13,033.

Many areas around the country affected by floods and heavy showers for several days, experienced a sunny day yesterday, but the Meteorology Department said the showers would continue today and tomorrow.

As the heavy rain has stopped, the water levels of several rivers subsided but the situation in most of the flood hit areas had not come back to normal.

Met Department Director (Weather forecasting) Anusha Warnasooriya told The Island that heavy showers would occur today as well at some places in Sabaragamuwa, Central, Western and North-western provinces and in Galle and Matara districts. Fairly strong gusty winds up to 40-45 kmph was be expected during thunder showers and also urged the public to take necessary precautions to minimize damages caused by lightning.

According to the Irrigation Department, the water levels of the main rivers had reached spill levels in certain areas due to heavy rains by yesterday evening.

The main rivers including Nilwala, Gin, Kalu and Kelani and Attanagalu Oya and Ma Oya are reported to be overflowing in some places. The Met Department has warned residents of lower catchment areas of those rivers to remain vigilant.

The vehicular movement on the Hatton-Colombo main road, which was disrupted by landslips and fallen mounds of earth, was restored yesterday afternoon and traffic however has been has been restricted to a single lane.

The mounds of earth that had fallen on to the road due to the incessant rain that fell on the western slopes of the central highlands, has been cleared and the Ginigathhena Police has assigned a single lane for vehicles to travel.

The landslips have occurred at a place the Road Development Authority was repairing as it was identified as a risk area for landslides. However the motorists were requested to be careful when using the road.

One spill gate of the Upper Kotmale Reservoir has been opened yesterday morning (22). Due to the heavy rains in the western slopes area of central highlands, four spill gates of the Kotmale reservoir had been opened since Monday evening (21) until 8 am yesterday. However, a spill gate was once again opened at around 10 am yesterday. If the rains continue, more spill gates will be opened and therefore the engineers at the reservoir requested the public living on either side of the Kotmalaoya, downstream of the dam, to be on alert.

The National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) issued landslide warning for locations facing potential risk in Kegalle, Ratnapura, Kurunegala, Badulla, Kandy, Matale, Colombo and Gampaha.

Source : TheIsland

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