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Adverse weather continues. 1.2 million affected by calamity

Feb 7, 2011 10:54:05 AM - itnnews.lk

Adverse weather conditions still prevail over the island. The number affected exceeds 1.2 million. The Government is providing immediate relief. Appeals have been made for donations from philanthropists.

11 deaths have been reported as a result of floods and landslides. Another eight were injured. The Disaster Mnagement Centre said three persons are still missing. Over 325 thousand persons have taken shelter in Relief Camps. The highest number of persons affected due to the adverse weather which was experienced in the past few days is from the Vavuniya, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara Districts.

In the meantime, the Department of Meteorology has forecast intermittent rain in the Northern, Eastern, Uva, North Central and Central Provinces and in the Hambantota District. It said that the low pressure area in still affecting the weather over the island. As a result, rain or thundershowers with heavy rain above 100 mm is expected at some place in the Northern, North Central, Eastern, Uva and Central Provinces and over the Hambantota District.

A sudden disaster situation has been declared in the Vavuniya District due to torrential rain. District Secretary P.S.M. Charles said it is impossible to reach certain areas which are inundated.

The Padavi Sripura town has been flooded for the first time. Heavy rain was experienced in the area from the wee hours of today. All Government Offices as well as private sector establishments in the town were flooded. Critical patients at the Padavi Sripura Hospital were airlifted to the Anuradhapura Hospital. It is reported that all roads had also gone under water.

In the meantime, residents of many houses in the Kandy District were evacuated due to landslide threats. There is a danger of the Hantana mountain caving in. The Kandy District Disaster Management Centre sid that residents of many houses at Wevatenna in Ampitiya, Gonawala in Digana, Kandaketiya in Panwila and Kalalgamuwa and Nugetenna in Ududumbara have been evacuated due to landslide threats. Residents of 35 houses in the Upper Division of Hantana have also been evacuated.

Matale District Secretary K.H.A. Meegasmulla said that landslides and cracks in certain houses have appeared in the District. She said that the Government had given 12 million rupees for relief operations.

The National Buildings Research Institute says that four districts in Central and Uva Provinces face serious landslide threats. Badulla, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy and Matale Districts have been declared as landslide prone areas. The Rattota in Walapane and Badulla Divisional Secretariat areas also face the landslide threats.Nuwara Eliya District Secretary D.P.G. Kumarsiri said that several roads in the Districts are impeded as a result of landslide threats.

The flood situation has worsened with heavy rain experienced in Anuradhapura from last night. Flood waters in many areas including Anuradhapura subsided by last afternoon. However, These areas came under water with rain being experienced last midnight. Many locations including the Children’s Park are under water. Hundreds of houses as well Government establishment in Anuradhapura are under water again.

Several areas are under water as a result of heavy rains in Polonnaruwa. The Somawathi Sacred area is completely under water. Wild animals including elephants in the forests adjacent to the Sacred Area are facing danger. An elephant with a baby elephant managed to save their lives wading though the gushing waters, with the support of the officials of the Police Post at Somawathi.

Meanwhile many areas in the Eastern Province are flooded. Two thirds of Muttur is under water. About 30 thousand in the area are displaced. Many families in Kantale, Ampara and Batticaloa are also rendered homeless.