Low-risk landslide warnings in several districts | Daily News
‘Tauktae’ heads towards Northwest India, leaving SL

Low-risk landslide warnings in several districts

Rescue workers helping those affected by the floods. Pictures by Mahinda P. Liyanage, Galle Central Special Corr.
Rescue workers helping those affected by the floods. Pictures by Mahinda P. Liyanage, Galle Central Special Corr.

The Tropical Storm ‘Tauktae’ has left Sri Lanka and moved towards Northwest India, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said yesterday. Meanwhile, the National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) has issued low-risk landslide alerts for Kegalle, Galle, Matara, Ratnapura, Gampaha, Kalutara, and Colombo.

Several areas in Galle, Kegalle, and Gampaha faced floods during the recent showers, but at present, floodwaters have begun to recede. Ten districts were affected by the recent rainfall, but the majority of those areas are now returning to normalcy.

The most-affected areas were Kolonnawa in the Colombo District; Kelaniya, Biyagama, and Attanagalla in the Gampaha District; Nagoda in the Galle District; as well as Akuressa in the Matara District. Some families were evacuated from Kegalle, Gampaha, Galle, and Matara and are currently residing in 25 safety centres.

Many reservoirs are at their threshold levels: Kurunegala, 91%; Puttalam, 92%; Kandy, 100%; Badulla 80%; and Mannar, 76%. However, water levels are decreasing. Due to ‘Tauktae’, Sri Lanka experienced heavy rainfall with high winds between May 13 and 14, and most parts of the Southwestern region received over 250mm of rainfall within 24 hours. The maximum reported was 336mm in Agalawatta, Kalutara.

Due to heavy rainfall, strong winds, and landslides, 48,300 people from 10 districts were affected. Furthermore, five deaths were reported and three persons suffered minor injuries due to floods. Three houses were completely destroyed, while 860 more were partially damaged in the Gampaha, Galle, Matara, and Colombo districts.

A total of 1,037 people have been evacuated to 25 safety centres: 15 in Colombo, six in Gampaha, two in Galle, as well as one each in Kandy and Kalutara. The National Disaster Relief Services Centre has provided Rs.33.4 million to those affected by the inclement weather. Search and Rescue teams, including Army and Navy personnel, have been deployed to the affected areas to assist displaced persons and provide them with food and water, as well as to help the Electricity Board solve power outages.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DMC, together with the military, worked in close collaboration with health authorities and local public administrative authorities to provide relief to those affected by the floods.