Met Dept extends Amphan Red Alert | Daily News

Met Dept extends Amphan Red Alert

The Meteorology Department extended its Red alert on the very severe cyclonic storm “Amphan” as it has further intensified into an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm. It is very likely to intensify into a Super Cyclonic storm during next 12 hours and likely to move north-northeastwards towards west Bengal coast during the afternoon of May 20, the Department forecast.

The cyclonic storm is presently centred over the central part of South Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood about 765 km North-east of Trincomalee. 

Accordingly showers or thunderstorms will occur in Southern, Western, Sabaragamuwa, Central and North-western provinces with isolated very heavy showers exceeding 150mm during next 48hours. The wind speed in the land areas can increase up to (60-70) Kmph at times over the island.

In its warning for the sea areas, the Meteorology Department said that the wind speed can increase up to (70-80) Kmph at times in these areas extending from Puttalam to Pottuvil via Galle and Hambantota. “Wind speed reaching (100-150) Kmph and gusting up to 200kmph is prevailing over southeast and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal.” According to the forecast heavy showers or thundershowers will occur over sea areas around the island during the next 24 hours as well.

“There is a possibility that near shore sea areas off the coast extending from Mannar to Pottuvil via Colombo, Galle and Hambantota may experience surges due to the effect of swell waves, having (2.0-3.0) m height. Eastern and North-eastern deep and shallow sea areas can be high and other deep and shallow sea areas around the island will be very rough.” the Department predicted.

The Meteorology Department advised Naval and fishing communities not to venture into the shallow and deep sea areas around the island until further notice. “Those who are out at Sea over these regions are advised to return to coasts or move to safer areas immediately.”

The Department requested people living in hilly areas (particularly landslide prone areas) and low lying areas in river basins to be vigilant. In addition the drivers and people using roads in the hilly areas were also cautioned. It was also requested to take adequate precautions to minimize damages caused by lightning activity, fallen trees and power lines.

Meanwhile, the National Building Research Organization (NBRO) extended its landslide early warning for several districts including Galle, Matale, Ratnapura, Kalutara, Matara, Colombo, Kegalle, Kurunegala, Kandy and Nuwara-Eliya. The NBRO advised the general public in these areas that if the rain continues, to be watchful on the possibility of landslides, slope failures, rock falls, cutting failures and ground subsidence.

Deputy Director of the Disaster Management Center Pradeep Kodippili stated that 03 deaths have been reported today (18) due to adverse weather conditions prevailing in the country. Two deaths are reported from Maggona, Kalutara where a group of persons who have been in a boat was tipped over. The other death is reported from Kahatagasdigiliya area, where a small tree hut has collapsed.

According to the Kalutara district Disaster Management Unit, 56 families that include 205 persons have been affected today (18) by the heavy showers received to the area. In the Kalutara district, Bulathsinhala divisional secretariat has been the most affected.

Meanwhile, 49 houses and a school building were partially destroyed due to cyclonic winds in the Elpitiya area yesterday (17) morning. The school building belongs to Ganegoda Maha Vidyalaya, Elpitiya.
In Ratnapura district, 287 individuals of 68 families have been affected due to the adverse weather conditions. The Disaster Management Unit of Ratnapura district stated that 58 houses have also been partially damaged.

Meanwhile, the government has taken swift measures to assess the damage and compensate the families affected by the present adverse weather conditions.
The Disaster Management Center for Galle district has already commenced conducting the damage assessment procedure on 45 houses that were damaged due to the strong winds. The unit, together with the assistance of defense forces has taken steps to reconstruct the damaged houses, the DMC said.

Meanwhile, Rs. 250,000 compensation was granted to two families whose family members were killed due to landslides and flooding. The deceased are H. Lionel Wijesinghe, 46, a resident in Kegalle who got caught in flood waters and Indrani Senanayake, 76, Kegalle-Waldeniya, a landslide victim.


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