Sri Lanka – Floods and Landslides Leave 1 Dead and 15,000 Displaced

The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) in Sri Lanka reports that at least 1 person has died and almost 80,000 affected by heavy rain, landslides and floods after a storm swept across the country from the evening of 23 September, 2019.

Flooding has affected 80,0149 people (20,817 families) in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern and Central provinces.

Flooding in Kelaniya and Wattala in Gampaha District, north east of the capital Colombo, forced around 12,000 people to move to 22 safe shelters set up by authorities. As of 25 September a total of 14,899 people (3,696 families) had been displaced across the country and were staying in 42 relief shelters. DMC said that 30 houses have been completely destroyed, with a further 821 damaged.

One person died and 6 were injured after flooding and landslide in Baddegama in Galle district, Southern Province, where 71 mm of rain fell in 24 hours to 25 September.

Heavy rain also fell in the country’s capital, Colombo. According to WMO figures, 124 mm of rain was recorded in the city in 24 hours to 25 September. Ratmalana just south of Colombo in Western Province recorded 157 mm of rain during the same period.

Sri Lanka’s Meteorological Department said the highest rainfall for the 24 September was recorded at Katunayake, a suburb of Negombo city in Western Province, where 272.3 mm fell in 24 hours.

Sri Lanka’s Irrigation Department reported that the Nilwala Ganga river at Panadugama, Matara District in Southern Province, was above major flood stage (6.5 metres). As of early 25 September the river stood at 6.71 metres.

According to the department, the Gin Ganga River in Baddegama in Galle district stood at 4.54 metres as of 24 September, above minor flood stage.

Further heavy rain has been forecast for the coming days. Flood and landslide warnings remain in effect for 11 districts across the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern and Uva Provinces.

File photo for illustration only. A view of floodwaters in the Nathandiya area of North Western Sri Lanka, May 22, 2018. Thomson Reuters Foundation/Amantha Perera