13 killed, 100,000 affected
At least 13 people were killed, more than 60 injured and about 100,000 people affected when one of the heaviest rains and gusty winds hit Sri Lanka from Wednesday, the Disaster Management Centre said yesterday.
DMC Deputy Director Pradeep Kodippili told the Sunday Times that upto yesterday about 25,811 houses had been damaged, with 694 of them being destroyed.
He said about 5,435 displaced people from about 1,420 families were being housed in 66 safe locations.
Meanwhile, the National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) has also issued landslide warnings to residents of the Badulla, Ratnapura, Galle and Matara districts. People living near mountains or slopes and those living in areas identified as landslide prone were warned to remain vigilant.
Warnings were also issued to residents in previously identified landslide prone areas such as N u w a r a E l i ya, Mat a l e , Hambantota , Moneragala and Kalutara.
The Irrigation Department’s Hydrology Division report on inland water levels, issued at 12.30pm yesterday, said that in Pandugama, the Nilwala River water level was dropping, while in Baddegama where floods were reported, the Gin Ganga water level was also going down.
Meanwhile, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) said the heavy rain and winds had knocked out power supplies to about one million residences, businesses and other insitutions.,
CEB spokesman Sulakshana Jayawardena said CEB crews worked round the clock from Wednesday night to restore power supplies. By 10 a.m. yesterday, power had been restored to about 800,000 users.
The Galle District was the worst affected, with power lines and transformers damaged in many places.
In addition to the crews already working 24 hours a day, Mr Jayawardena said about 20 CEB teams from areas outside the affected districts had been deployed to work in disaster affected areas.
“There are obstructions that need to be cleared. We also need to consider the safety of our crews. That is why in some areas, the restoration has been delayed," he said.
Meanwhile, the Power and Renewable Energy Ministry has introduced several hotlines for the public to inform authorities of power failures. Accordingly, those in affected areas could call the following numbers: CEB - 1987, LECO - 1910, Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy - 1901, Kalutara District - 0114418418 and Southern Province - 0714238623.