Sri Lanka – 20 Dead After Days of Severe Weather

At least 20 people have died in floods, landslides and lightning strikes in Sri Lanka following almost 2 weeks of heavy rain, disaster officials in the country said on 10 November 2021.

Flood and landslide damage in Sri Lanka, November 2021. Photo: Sri Lanka Ministry of Defence

Days of severe weather including strong winds and heavy rain began in late October 2021, when fatalities were reported in Badulla and Mulaitivu.

Severe weather has continued since then, with heavy rain worsening from around 07 November 2021 due a low pressure area in the south-east Bay of Bengal. Nochchiyagama in Anuradhapura District recorded 300.4 mm of rain in 24 hours to 09 November, 2021. Sri Lanka’s Department of Meteorology said on 10 November that the area of low pressure is likely to intensify into a depression during the next 36 hours and move towards the coast of Tamil Nadu, India, which has already seen severe weather over the last few days.

In Sri Lanka, according to figures from the country’s Disaster Management Centre, 20 people have now lost their lives in weather-related incidents including floods, lightning strikes and landslides since late October.

Fatalities were reported in Kurunegala (6), Badulla (4), Kegalle (4), Puttalam (3) and one each in Matale, Galle and Mullativu. One person is still missing in Puttalam.

A total of 62,247 people across 17 districts have been affected. Over 25,000 people have been affected in Jaffna and 12,350 in Mannar.

Almost 1,000 homes have been damaged and over 5,000 people displaced. Many are staying with relatives or neighbours while 1,498 have moved to 38 evacuation centres. Over 600 homes were damaged in Badulla and 256 in Kegalle.