STF, Army personnel deployed to protect properties of displaced | Daily News

STF, Army personnel deployed to protect properties of displaced

Special Task Force (STF) and Army personnel were deployed to protect the houses and personal belongings of thousands of people displaced by floods in many parts of Colombo district, including Kelaniya and Wellampitiya on the directive of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The Prime Minister had issued instructions to top defence authorities on Thursday evening as some people whose houses were partly inundated refused to leave them for fear of being robbed.

These people had an experience of loosing their belongings during the 1992 floods.

Rescue operations to search for over 130 people who are still missing after the massive landslides at Aranayake and Bulathkohupitiya were continuing for the third day. According to Disaster Management Center (DMC) officials, the death toll has risen to 63 as a result of the torrential rains experienced across the country since May 14.

As at last morning, over 13,770 people rescued by the Naval personnel engaged in flood relief duties have been transferred to safe locations by boats, Navy Media Spokesman Captain Alavi Akram said.

According to the SLN Media Unit sources, the number of flood relief teams deployed by the Navy has increased to 81. They have been deployed in Thalduwa, Hanwella, Ranala, Navagamuwa, Malwana, Kegalle, Kaduwela, Mulleriyawa, Dompe, Pugoda, Wellampitiya, Kollonnawa, Biyagama, Kotikawatta, Angoda, Kelanimulla, Vavunia, Vilachchiya and Mandagalaru.

“In addition, 40 more flood relief teams are on standby covering all the areas affected by floods to meet any emergency situation,” they added.

DMC Media Spokesman Pradeep Kodipili said that 425,601 persons from 103,776 families have been displaced due to the floods and landslides.At present, 319,195 people belonging to 63,370 families have been taken to safe locations.There are 597 safe centers functioning islandwide,” he added.

According to DMC reports, there are 236 safe centers in Gampaha, 112 in Galle, 89 in Puttalam, 86 in Colombo, 71 in Ratnapura, 54 in Kegalle and 29 in Hambantota.

Three hundred and fifty four houses have been totally destroyed due to the inclement weather while 3,326 houses partially damaged.

Colombo District Irrigation Director office sources said the water level in the Kelaniya river which was 7.65 feet on Thursday has now decreased to 7.2 feet. “The water level in Hanwella and surrounding areas has also receded,” they added.

Meanwhile, Meteorology Department sources said Cyclone “ROANU” is moving away from the island and as at yesterday morning and was located 900 kilometers North of Kankesanthurai.

According to the Meteorology Department’s weather forecast issued for the next 36 hours strong windy conditions will prevail over the country and along the coastal areas. Strong showers will be experienced in the South-Western part of the country. Therefore, heavy rainfall of between (100 mm-150 mm) is also expected at some places.

Showers or thunder showers will occur at times in the Western, North-Western, Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces and in the Galle and Matara Districts. There may be temporary localised strong winds during thundershowers.


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