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Rain wreaks havoc. 13 Districts affected

Feb 4, 2011 10:11:29 AM - itnnews.lk

Incessant rains wreak havoc in 13 Districts. The people are encountering enormous difficulties following landslides and overflow of rivers. A disaster situation has been declared in several areas.

The Disaster Management Centre said adverse weather has affected the Trincomalee, Matale, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Badulla, Vavuniya, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, Ampara, Puttalam, Kegalla, Mannar and Moneragala Districts. The Centre revealed that more than 100 thousand are impacted by the heavy showers.

The Polonnaruwa District is severely affected. Many people had to be evacuated from several areas. The Medirigiriya town is totally inundated. 11 sluice gates of Kawudulla tank had been opened up to nine feet each. Our correspondent said that many public buildings in the town are inundated as a result. The security forces and the police are continuously engaged in relief operations. People have been evacuated from the Medirigiriya town. The Irrigation Engineer said that the sluice gates will have to be opened by 10 feet if the rain continued. Minister Maithripala Sirisena visited the flood affected areas.

Meanwhile the traffic movement in Kantale-Seruwila road has been disrupted due to incessant rains. The Navy has deployed boats to rescue people. A vessel engaged in a rescue mission met with disaster last night in Sittaru area. Five people are reported missing. There are two children among them. 17 have been hospitalized. An operation has been launched is search of the missing.

All tanks in Anuradhapura District have reached the spill level. The Anuradhapura City is threatened with floods following the opening of all the spill gates of the Nachchaduwa Tank. As such action was initiated to evacuate the city dwellers. A special discussion was held this afternoon. It was presided by Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake. A disaster situation has been declared in the District. Transport is paralysed as many roads are flooded. Action was also initiated to evacuate even residents of the low lying areas. The Air Force has deployed four helicopters to help evacuate stranded flood victims. The Navy and the Army have joined in extending relief to the flood affected.

The Disaster Management Centre said 100 families are displaced due to the overflow of the Barack Lane Reservoir in Nuwara Eliya. 1000 acres of vegetable cultivation has been inundated. Agriculture Minister of the Central Province Nimal Piyatissa is focusing on the future action that should be taken regarding the destroyed cultivated areas.

Many houses have gone under water due to the opening of sluice gates of the Ratkinda twin reservoir at Ulhitiya. Severe damage has been inflicted to houses in the Mahaweli village. The houses in the Wev-gama area are also inundated. Residents have been evacuated to secure locations. All six spill gates of the Ulhitiya Reservoir have been opened.

Our correspondent said thick fog was being experienced in the Pallal-pathana area in Walapane. Several houses have also been damaged due to landslides. The Disaster Management Centre and the Police have requested the public to refrain from visiting the areas stricken by disaster.

Passara is another town hindered by adverse weather. A luxury house in the Panguwatte village was devastated in a landslide today. Passara Divisional Secretary Prabath Abeywardena said that six more houses are in danger and action has been taken to evacuate the residents.

The landslide in the Punchi Rattota area in Matale is intensifying and the people are being evacuated to safe locations. Geologist of the National Buildings Research Institute C.K. Moremada said it has been declared an area unsuitable for residents. The Government has drawn up plans to provide them alternate land.

Ampara is another District impacted by floods. Six spill gates of the Senanayake Samudra at Inginiyagala have been opened. Power supplies were disconnected for several hours as many Electricity Sub Stations are flooded. About 12,000 families are displaced while members of 2,700 families have been found shelter in 32 welfare camps.

The Keerthibandarapura Maha Vidyalaya at Adhikarigama has been indefinitely closed as a landslide has been reported in the Mahawevakanda in Kandy. The earth had slipped about half a kilometer and was moving on to the school.