Over 80,000 people have now been affected by floods in Sri Lanka, according to disaster management officials. More heavy rain has fallen since the flooding began on 20 May and 12 people have now lost their lives.
Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said that, as of 23 May, 84,943 people (18,542 families) have been affected, and over 2,500 homes have been damaged and 29 completely destroyed. As many as 27,621 people have been evacuated due to threats of flooding and landslides and are being housed in 194 welfare centres.
DMC said that damage assessments reveal that over 23,000 people are in need emergency flood relief and early recovery assistance.
Around 500 military and police officials have been mobilised immediately for search and rescue operations while 5,826 military and police personnel are on stand-by teams for immediate deployment.
Sri Lanka’s Department of Meteorology reported further heavy rainfall from 21 to 22 May, with 8 locations recording more than 100 mm of rain in 24 hours. Kuliyapitiyain Kurunegala District, North Western Province, recorded the highest totals for the day, with 194.8 mm.
The department says that the prevailing rainy condition in the South-western part of the island is expected to continue today, 24 May, and showers or thundershowers will occur at times in Western, Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Central and North-Western provinces.
Several rivers are on alert or minor flood alert, according to the Department of Irrigation. The only river at major flood alert is the Kalu Ganga at Millakanda, near Egaloya in Western Province. As of 24 May the level of the Kalu was 8.59 metres, above major flood stage of 8 metres, but below record levels of 12.35.
Two spill gates of the Rajanganaya dam on the Kala Oya river in Anuradhapura District, North Central Province, were opened on 23 May and people living downstream have been advised to be vigilant.
Featured photo: File photo – Floods destroy hundreds of homes in Sri Lanka each year. Photo credit: Sri Lanka Red Cross Society