Sri Lanka Floods – Thousands More Displaced as Military Search for Landslide Survivors

Over 300,000 people remain displaced by the recent floods and severe weather in Sri Lanka, according to the latest report from the country’s Disaster Management Centre (DMC).

Further heavy rainfall yesterday has increased the number of those affected to 414,627.

The number of fatalities has risen from 37 yesterday, and now stands at 43. The number of injured stands at 28 and DMC say that 16 people are missing.

286 houses have been destroyed and 3,057 damaged. Almost 600 relief camps or emergency accommodation has been set up, hosting 306,773 displaced people.

Military Assistance

The Sri Lanka Army, Air Force and Navy have all been involved in flood rescue, damage assessment and relief efforts. The Air Force have been carrying out food drops in several areas.

Military Spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera said nearly 1,000 Security Forces personnel have been deployed for relief activities in the affected areas due to the adverse weather situation.

Of this amount, nearly 700 Army personnel including 40 officers have been deployed for relief activities in the Aranayake and Bulathkohupitiya areas where hundreds were affected by landslides. Nearly 200 Navy personnel have been deployed especially in the flood affected areas.

The Air Force has also deployed a considerable amount of personnel for relief activities and stand by services especially life saving and rescue activities. A Bell 212 helicopter and another MI 17 chopper are on rescue operations.

Aranayaka Landslide

Teams from Sri Lanka’s military and disaster agencies, alongside Sri Lanka Red Cross, have been working in Aranayaka, Kegalle District, where a massive landslide struck in the early hours of Wednesday, 18 May 2016. It is thought that the landslide has buried the homes of around 220 families in the villages of Siripura, Pallebage and Elagipitya.

Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management Centre say that 14 people have died in the landslide. An unknown number of people are still missing.

The Sri Lanka Army sent a team, consisting of Army Commandos, Engineer and Medical Corps troops and sniffer dogs, to carry out search and rescue operations.

Operations have been hindered by poor access and severe weather since the landslide first struck. Earlier today the Red Cross said that “rescue efforts in Aranayaka have been halted due to bad weather. Only low lying areas can be accessed”. A risk of more landslide persists.

Over 1,000 Rescued and Safe

In the initial aftermath of the landslide, Sri Lanka Red Cross said that 220 families living in the affected area were missing.

According to reports from the Red Cross and Sri Lanka Army, as many as 1,200 people have since been found and rescued. The Red Cross say that 9 temporary shelters have been set up for the survivors.

President Maithripala Sirisena visited the area yesterday to inspect the relief measures provided for the displaced people.

The President gave instructions to the relevant officials to “provide necessary facilities without any shortage and specially instructed to look into the health situation of the survivors”. He said that in the future the Government will implement a comprehensive program to resettle the persons displaced due to the landslide.

More Rainfall Forecast and Cyclone Roanu Heads Towards India

According to WMO figures, further significant rainfall was recorded in 3 locations in the country between 17 and 18 May. Katunayake, a suburb of Negombo city in Western Province, recorded 93.1mm of rain in 24 hours. Kandy say 52.3mm and Kurunegala, capital, of the North Western Province, recorded 84.7mm.

Sri Lanka Meteorology Department has warned that there may be further heavy rain, particularly for parts of the south west of the country. In a statement, Sri Lanka Meteorology Department said earlier today:

“Strong windy conditions over the country and in the sea areas around the island will continue during next few days due to the meeting of wind feeding to the system. There is a high possibility to sudden increase of rain in the South-western part of the country. If so, fairly heavy to very heavy rainfall (100mm-150mm) are also expected at some places.

“Showers or thunder showers will occur at times in Western, North-Western, Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces and in the Galle, Matara and Mannar districts.

“Showers or thunder showers will occur at several places in the Anuradhapura and Hambantota districts.

“There may be temporary localized strong winds during thundershowers. General public is kindly requested to take adequate precautions to minimize damages caused by lightning activity.”

Heavy Rain in Southern India

The deep depression in the Bay of Bengal that caused much of the heavy rain in Sri Lanka is now heading away from the island and towards southern India.

The depression has intensified into a Cyclonic storm, now named Roanu, and is located about 78 km south-east of east Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh, and had maximum sustained wind speeds of 83 km/h.

Heavy rainfall has been recorded in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Local media reported some minor flooding in Chennai, the city badly hit by floods in November 2015.

A red level warning is in place today for coastal Andhra Pradesh for strong winds and “heavy to very heavy rain fall at a few places” and in isolated areas, extremely heavy rain, according to India Meteorology Department (IMD).

Rainfall in India, 18 to 19 May, 2016 (24 hour period)

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) – 162mm
Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) – 59mm

Andhra Pradesh
Nellore – 56mm
Machilipatnam – 125mm
Kakinada – 176 mm
Visakhapatnam – 100mm

Photos of Floods and Landslides in Sri Lanka

Flood Summary

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


Aranayaka Landslide, Kegalle District


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


92 people
Buildings destroyed
502 buildings

2 thoughts on “Sri Lanka Floods – Thousands More Displaced as Military Search for Landslide Survivors

  1. Ven. german Dhammadipa

    - Edit

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    Ven. german Dhammadipa

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