DMC gears for Southwest Monsoon


The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) issued guidelines, to the National Disaster Management Coordination Centre (NDMCC), on minimising damage and preventing fatalities during the Southwest Monsoon.

DMC Assistant Director of Media and Public Relations, Janaka Handunpathiraja said yesterday (8) instructions have been given to NDMCC and other relevant institutions on how to handle the situation.

The DMC said the Meteorology Department has predicted that the Southwest Monsoon is expected to be active beginning the third week of May. The Northern Province and Anuradhapura District would experience heavy showers when compared to previous years they said and added that there was a possibility of a low pressure zone in the Bay of Bengal causing more showers than expected. 

He cautioned the public to be attentive to the Met Dept’s weather forecasts and the National Building Research Organization (NBRO) would declare the areas vulnerable to landslide.

Water levels in reservoirs have risen to nearly 71 per cent capacity, he said.

Steps have been taken to deal with disasters occurring due to the Southwest Monsoon. As dengue cases would be on the rise, the Health Ministry will implement Dengue awareness and eradication programmes islandwide. 

Meanwhile Senior Scientist of NBRO Dr. Wasantha Senadeera yesterday said that Landslide Research and Risk Management Division has cautioned that when the Southwest Monsoon is intensifying the Western, Sabaragamuwa and Central provinces and a part of the Uva Province would remain vulnerable to landslide, slope and cutting failures.  

He said with the commencement of Southwest Monsoon the Haldumulla Divisional Secretariat (DS) Division in the Badulla District, Ambagamuwa, Kotmale and Nuwara Eliya DS Divisions in the Nuwara-Eliya District, Wilgamuwa and Laggala-Pallegama DS divisions in the Matale District, Gangawatakorale, Yatinuwara, Udunuwara, Udapalatha, Gangaihalakorale, Doluwa, Deltota, Pasbagekorala and Hataraliyadda, Pathadumbara, Galagedara, Poojapitiya, Akurana and Panwila DS divisions and some parts of the Harispattuwa DS, division have been declared vulnerable landslide zones.

Dr. Senadeera said Aranayaka, Bulathkohupitiya, Yatiyantota, Deraniyagala, Galigamuwa and Ruwanwella DS divisions and a part of Dehiowita DS Division, Ratnapura, Kuruwita, Eheliyagoda (high risk rock fall), Kiriella, Ayagama, Kalawana, Nivithigala, Elapatha, Pelmadulla, Kahawatta and Balangoda and Opanayaka DS divisions in the Ratnapura District were under landslide threat.

The entire Galle District could be affected by cutting failure but landslide threats are possible in Neluwa, Nagoda, Niyagama and Yakkalamulla DS divisions, Bulathsinhala, Baduraliya, Palindanuwara, Agalawatta, Walallawita and Ingiriya DS divisions. Mathugama, Dodangoda, Horana, Millaniya, and Madurawala Grama Niladhari divisions in the Kalutara District are among them, according to Dr. Senadeera.

The Matara District was cleared of landslides, however, landslides were possible in Kotapola, Pasgoda, Pitabeddara and Akuressa DS divisions and Katuwana and Walasmulla areas in the Matara and Rathnapura border. Cutting failures are possible in Okewela, Weeraketiya, Beliatta and Tangalle DS divisions in the Matara District, landslides area possible in the hilly areas in the Kurunegala District near Gampaha and Kegalle district borders, hilly areas in the Moneragala District, landslides are possible in Seethawaka and Padukka DS divisions and cutting failures are possible Kesbawa, Kaduwela, Kolonna, Malabe, Maharagama and Homagama DS divisions in the Colombo District and Attanagalla, Dompe, Mahara and Mirigama DS divisions in the Gampaha District, according to Dr. Senadeera.

Landslide or rock fall threat would prevail along the Ratnapura Wewalwatta Road (especially Galabada and Durekande area), Thiriwanketiya Agalawatta Road (especially in Pebotuwa area), Ratnapura Karawita Road (especially in Niriella area), Eheliyagoda Dehiowita Road (especially in Kohiladeniya road), Eheliyagoda Kiriella road (especially in Arepola area), Ayagama Egaloya Road (especially in Ayagama town area and Gavaragiriya area, A 17 road between Galle and Madanpa, Thihagoda Mulatiyana Kotapola road, Bengamuwa Galgoda road and Deniyaya Viharahena and Andaradeniya raod, Dr, Senadeera added.

BY Naalir Jamaldeen