Chairman of the Sabaragamuwata Hetak organisation, G.K.S.D.S. Jayasiri claimed that the Ratnapura Disaster Management Centre (DMC) consistently fails to respond favourably when people in affected areas call or contact them.
He claimed that there is a difficulty in getting to safe locations in an emergency. “As a result, people in these areas are greatly inconvenienced. In such a case, the responsible authorities should take steps to establish a suitable system. Floods and landslides are common in Ratnapura for about 45 days annually. It might happen again. Therefore, the institutions in charge must take remedial action as soon as possible.”
Furthermore, he said, while the recent floods were receding, they were likely to recur due to increased rainfall, and some areas affected by the floods around Ratnapura have experienced power outages.
However, he said that electricity supply had since been restored following several complaints to the CEB. “Many people are in a state of hunger and starvation due to have their usual two-to-three meals a day, resulting from short supply of gas and no cooked food being distributed from any organisation that should have been operating in the event of an emergency.” he complained.
BY K. A. S. Piyathilaka – Kuruwita