Sri Lanka Floods – 200,000 Displaced as Death Toll Rises, 200 Families Missing After Landslide in Aranayaka

According to Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management Centre (DMC), the severe weather across the country has now affected over 350,000 people.

As many as 223,687 people have been forced from their homes and are staying in 357 relief centres set up by authorities. Almost 230 houses have been completely destroyed and 2,647 damaged.

Heavy rain, strong winds, floods and landslide have left at least 37 people dead, 25 injured and 21 missing according to the latest report from DMC.

The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society reported at least 13 deaths after a landslide in the early hours of 18 May buried dozens of homes in in Aranayaka, Kegalle District.

Aranayaka Landslide

The torrential rain between 14 and 16 May has destabilised hillsides in many areas, particularly in Kegalle District, Sabaragamuwa Province, where at least 7 landslides have occurred in the last few days.

Sri Lanka Red Cross Society report that a landslide struck in the early hours of Wednesday, 18 May 2016, in Aranayaka, Kegalle District. The landslide buried the homes of 220 families in the villages of Siripura, Pallebage and Elagipitya.

According to the latest reports from Sri Lanka Red Cross, 13 bodies have been recovered and over 180 people have been rescued.

Sri Lanka Red Cross Society said:

“Electricity was cut off completely last night making it difficult for rescue teams to reach the locations, but in the initial hours managed to rescue over 180 persons. They have been housed at the Viyaneliya Temple. We are managing the camp and has provided them with first aid, cooked food, dry rations, blankets and other relief items.

“Two rescue teams have been deployed in search for the missing by the Red Cross in order to join main rescue teams. Authorities managing the rescue efforts believe that a larger number of people would have been victims of this landslide.”

Aranayake landslide, 18 May 2016. Photo: Sri Lanka Red Cross Society
Aranayake landslide, 18 May 2016. Photo: Sri Lanka Red Cross Society
Aranayake landslide, 18 May 2016. Photo: Sri Lanka Red Cross Society
Aranayake landslide, 18 May 2016. Photo: Sri Lanka Red Cross Society
Aranayake landslide, 18 May 2016. Photo: Sri Lanka Red Cross Society
Aranayake landslide, 18 May 2016. Photo: Sri Lanka Red Cross Society

Rainfall

Further heavy rain has fallen over the last 24, especially over northern parts of the country. During a 24 hour period between 17 and 18 May, 144 mm of rain was recorded in Puttalam, North Western province. In Mahailluppallama, North Central province, 212 mm of rain fell between 16 and 17 May.

Sri Lanka Meteorology Department said earlier today:

“The low pressure area in the Bay of Bengal has intensified in to a depression and now located to about 400km north of Kankasanturai.It is further moving away from the island. Hence, rainy weather prevailed over northern part of the island will be reduced. However, there is a high possibility to sudden increase of rain in the South-western part of the country and strong windy conditions over the country and in the sea areas around the island will continue during next few days due to meeting of wind feeding to the system.
Showers or thunder showers will occur at times in North-Western, Western, Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces and in the Galle and Matara districts. Fairly heavy falls (more than 75 mm) are likely at some places.”

 


Summary of Flood Affected Areas in Sri Lanka by Province

Western Province

Damage and disruption in Western Province has mostly been the result of flooding rather than landslides. DMC say that 3 people have died in floods in the province, 2 in Colombo District, and one in Gampaha.

Colombo district has been one of the worst hit areas, with over 170,000 people displaced and staying in 62 relief camps. One house has been completely destroyed and a further 14 severely damaged. In Gampaha district 32,490 people have been displaced and are currently housed in 74 camps. In Kalutara, around 5,000 people have been affected by floods.

Sabaragamuwa Province

Sabaragamuwa Province has been severely hit by landslides and cutting failures, as well as wind and rain damage. In Rathnapura district, almost 7,000 have been displaced. However, it is Kegalle district that has been hardest hit by landslides. DMC report at least 6 landslides have struck in the district, which have left 20 dead, 2 injured and 16 missing.

Kegalle District Landslides

Bulathkohupitiya – 2 dead, 14 missing
Kegalle – 1 missing
Yatiyantota – 2 injured
Rambukkana – 4 missing
Dehiovita – 4 dead, 1 missing
Aranayaka – 14 dead

Central Province

Heavy rain, floods, wind damage and risk of landslide has forced 340 people to evacuate in Nuwara Eliya District and 547 in Kandy District. Three people have died in Udunuwara, it is thought after buildings collapsed under the heavy rain. One person was injured and a further 4 are still missing. Matale district has also been affected by heavy rain, although no one has been evacuated as yet.

Southern Province

One person was killed by electric shock, it is thought from falling power cables, in Baddegama, Galle District. Nine houses have been destroyed in the district as a result of floods, heavy rain, wind damage and falling trees. Two houses have also been destroyed in Hambantota District.

North Central Province

In Anuradhapura District, 1,346 people have been displaced. One person was killed by floods in Thalawa, and another victim was reported in Thambuththegama.

North Western Province

Puttalam District has been severely affected by rain, floods and strong wind. Almost 5,000 people have been evacuated and 11 houses destroyed in the district. 4 people have died in floods in Kurunegala District, where 2,346 people have been evacuated.

Northern Province

No casualties have been reported in the province, although 3 people have been injured in the floods. The worst hit district is Killinochchi, where over 1,000 people have been evacuated. Around 800 have also been evacuated in Mannar District.

Eastern and Uva Provinces

Eastern and Uva provinces have suffered the least so far. Around 70 people have been affected by heavy rain in Eastern province, with 16 people evacuated in Trincomalee. Around 100 have also been affected in Badulla district, Uva Province, but no evacuations have been reported.

 Photo: Sri Lanka Red Cross Society
Photo: Sri Lanka Red Cross Society
 Photo: Sri Lanka Red Cross Society
Photo: Sri Lanka Red Cross Society
 Photo: Sri Lanka Red Cross Society
Photo: Sri Lanka Red Cross Society
Floods have destroyed hundreds of homes in Sri Lanka. Photo: Sri Lanka Red Cross Society
Floods have destroyed hundreds of homes in Sri Lanka. Photo: Sri Lanka Red Cross Society

Flood Summary

Last updated: July 22, 2016
Event
Sri Lanka, May 2016
Date
May 13 to May 19, 2016
Type
Inland flood, Landslide
Cause
Extreme rainfall
22 districts of Sri Lanka were afected by heavy rain, floods and landslides between 13 and 19 May 2016.

Locations

Aranayaka Landslide, Kegalle District

Magnitude

Rainfall level
355 mm in 24 hours
Deraniyagala - May 15 to May 16, 2016

Damages

Fatalities
92 people
Buildings destroyed
502 buildings
Evacuated
319,000