Sunday Times (Sri Lanka)
10 dead within three days due to adverse weather conditions
At least 10 people were killed, more than 1000 persons displaced and over 250 houses damaged due to adverse weather conditions in different parts of the country in the past three days, officials said yesterday.
Six died due to lightning strikes in the Mullaitivu and Batticaloa districts while four others drowned, officials added.
Three of the victims were farmers who were struck by lightning on Thursday while they were working in fields in Thannimurippu in Mullaitivu. One man died when he was struck by lightning when he stepped into his garden to fetch his axe.
Two others who were in a paddy field in Batticaloa died struck by lightning on Friday.
Earlier on Thursday a father and son who were bathing in a stream in Welu Oya Haldummulla drowned when they were swept away as the water level suddenly rose.
The deceased were residents of Maharagama and the family of four were proceeding to Badulla for the New Year break when they decided to take a dip in the Welu Oya. While the mother had gone to a closeby shop to buy some snacks, the father, son and the daughter had got into the water and had suddenly got caught up in a strong current and had drifted away.
The daughter had managed to save her life by holding on to a bush with the help of others but her father and the brother were swept away.
Security force personnel had recovered the remains of the father and the son.
An eight-year-old child was washed away in Uva Paranagama when her father was trying to cross a stream with her and the water levels suddenly rose.
A 15 year old boy from Nelson Place Wellawatte drowned on Friday when he slipped into the waters trying to take a photograph at Aberdeen falls in Ginigathhena.
In Matale 13 people who were struggling against the current in a stream were rescued by the police. They faced difficulties when water levels suddenly rose due to heavy rains upstream.
The Police have warned people not to bathe in unknown locations as the water levels can rise unexpectedly with heavy rains. “There may be less rains in a particular area, but water levels suddenly rise when heavy rains occur upstream," a Matale Policeman said.
The Disaster Management Centre said due to heavy rainfall and windy condition 1365 people from 324 families have been affected as some of their houses have been partially damaged. Houses had been damaged in areas including Hingurakgoda. Kandy and Puttalam.
Meanwhile in Suduhumpola and Deiyanwela areas in Kandy more than 150 houses were affected as muddy waters washed into them following heavy rains.
Canals had got blocked due to unauthorised constructions, leading to this situation officials said.
Residents were seen cleaning up their household items including electrical appliances, and other goods yesterday.
District Secretary Chandana Tennakoon said the damages were being assessed.