13 Dead Following Floods in Sri Lanka

Torrential rainfall over the last 24 hours in areas of Sri Lanka brought with it flash floods and landslides.

According to local police and media, as many as 13 people have died as a result of floods and landslides since the torrential.

Low lying areas are especially badly affected, in particular Kalutara district, Western Province, where the Uyanwatta Weva (reservoir) is said to have overflowed. The district is about 45km (28 miles) south of the capital Colombo.

The deaths occurred in Malabe (2), Bulathsinhala (3), Matugama (5), Agalawatta (2) and Walipenna (1).

Rescue operations were carried out, including some operations by the Sri Lanka Navy, which issued a statement regarding their operations:

Ten Naval teams with inflatable rescue boats (IRBs) are continuing their rescue assistance in liaison with respective Government officials in theKalutara district. Naval personnel are engaged in evacuation of people from trapped homes and buildings, ferrying the people to safe places.

The Navy is monitoring the flood situation and 16 additional rescue teams are stand-by in the Southern and Western Naval Areas for emergency deployments.

Recent reports claim that the navy has rescued over 80 people from the flooding.

Flood water in some areas is already beginning to recede and some of the previously disrupted rail services of the northern railway lines were returning to normal. The photo below shows the extent of some of the flooding along the low lying railway lines, in this case the Ragam railway station outside Colombo.

Ragama Railway Station, Sri Lanka, during the flooding 2 June 2014. Photo courtesy of SLRailwayForum
Ragama Railway Station, Sri Lanka, during the flooding 2 June 2014. Photo courtesy of SLRailwayForum

Further heavy rain is forecast over the next 48 hours, in particular for Central, Western and Sabaragamuwa provinces.

Sources: Sri Lanka Daily Mirror; Colombo Page