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Rain and winds play havoc in many areas

Jan 9, 2011 5:53:53 AM - itnnews.lk

Heavy rain and strong winds are impacting several areas in the country.

The Meteorological Department announced that many parts of the country are experienced heavy showers from yesterday owing to turbulences in the upper atmosphere. Strong winds were also reported from several areas in the wee hours of today. Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Polonnaruwa and Puttalam Districts are mostly impacted. All tanks in the Polonnaruwa District are overflowing. The Sluice Gates of the Parakrama Samudra have been opened about two feet. This is the first time that the Sluice Gates had been opened to this level. The Sluice Gates of the Kaudulla Tank had been opened 12 inches each while all the Sluice Gates of the Minneriya Tank had been opened. All small and major tanks of the Polonnaruwa District, including the Giritale Tank are overflowing. Our correspondents reported that movement of traffic along the Batticaloa-Colombo Highway has been obstructed.

Strong winds have impeded several essential services, including power supplies in the Batticaloa area. Hundreds of thousands of civilians impacted by the calamity have been found temporary shelter in public places.

In the meantime several tanks including the Kantale Tank in Trincomalee have started overflowing The Irrigation engineer attributed this to the heavy rain experienced in the area. People living on the low lying areas of the Kantale have been evacuated to safer locations.

The Disaster Management Centre said that Sluice Gates of Rajangana, Inginimitiya and Thabbowa Tanks have again been re-opened. These Sluice Gates had to be re-opened as water from the Kalawewa was released at the rate of 2400 cubic feet per second. More sluice gates will have to be opened if the water level increased. The excess water of the Rajangana Tank is being released to Kala Oya. As such its water is also rising. The Puttalam-Mannar road at Eluwankulama has been closed.