Sri Lanka – Thousands Evacuate as Cyclone Burevi Makes Landfall

Cyclone Burevi made landfall in the north-eastern coast of Sri Lanka in Trincomalee district on 02 December 2020. Sri Lanka’s Department of Meteorology warned of heavy rainfall, wind gusts of 90 km/h and storm surge of 1 metre.

Floods in Padavi Sripura, Sri Lanka, after Storm Burevi. Photo: Divisional Secretariat Padavi Sripura

Thousands of precautionary evacuations were carried out in advance. As of 03 December, Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management Centre (DMC) reported 10,336 people staying in emergency accommodation across Northern Province (7,778 people) and Trincomalee in Eastern Province (2558).

Most of those evacuated in Northern Province were in the district of Mannar in Northern province where 6,795 people were in emergency accommodation on 03 December.

Damage to homes was reported, mostly in Jaffna District, where 152 houses were damaged and 15 destroyed. One person was missing at sea near Chankanai in Jaffna. It appears most of the damage was a result of strong winds. As of 03 December, DMC reported flooding in Pathavisripura, Trincomalee, affecting 55 people and damaging 12 homes. Local media also reported some flooding in Killinochchi and Jaffna districts. Sri Lanka’s Department of Meteorology reported 279.8mm of rain in Akkarayan Kulam, Kilinochchi District, Northern Province in the last 24 hours to 03 December.

Burevi is now slowly moving away from Sri Lanka and tracking westward in the Bay of Bengal and heading towards India, with a landfall in the state of Tamil Nadu predicted for 03 to 04 December. Parts of Tamil Nadu are still recovering from the passage of Tropical Storm Nivar in late November.

Burevi is also forecast to affect parts of the southern Indian state of Kerala, where residents in low-lying areas have been ordered to evacuate as a precaution.

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