|Friday, 23 May 2003|
by Rashomi Silva
The Army would be deployed in the flood affected areas to help with the flood relief and to assist the Police strengthen the communication network.
These decisions were taken when the Disaster Management Unit presided by Power and Energy Minister Karu Jayasuriya met yesterday at the Power and Energy Ministry.
Minister Jayasuriya instructed the senior officials from the Ceylon Electricity Board, the Road Development Authority, the Health Authority and other government institutions operating in the flood affected areas to hand over a daily report to the Disaster Management Unit at the Prime Minister's Office on the current situation and the progress achieved.
So far 264 were confirmed dead whilst 500 people were reported missing. It was estimated that over 23,000 houses were totally damaged and over 26,000 houses partially damaged due to the floods.
Minister Jayasuriya said the UN, India, Germany, Japan and many other countries had helped tremendously in our moment of need.
Explaining the health hazards, the Health Ministry representative said that there are potential dangers for dengue, malaria and other mosquito borne diseases once the flood water started receding. "We have requested the UN for vaccines to be sent to these areas".
The CEB said they have managed to restore the power supply to the hospitals, pumping stations, police depots and to other important locations. "As a safety measure in most of the places we were obliged to disconnect the power supply as most of the houses are still submerged in water" and said that they were unable to comment when the power supply will be restored in these areas.
The Road Development Authority said the roads in Ratnapura will be motorable by the weekend and that most of the A-9 roads and bridges in the flood affected areas are in 'good condition'.
Defence, Transport and Highways Minister Tilak Marapana, Social Welfare Minister Ravindra Samaraweera, Southern Region Development Minister Ananda Kularathne, Ministry secretaries and senior officials were present.
Produced by Lake House