13 killed, 100,000 af­fected

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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