Heavy Rains Causing Floods

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The water level in Gin Ganga has begun to rise rapidly due to the inclement weather in the Galle District. Flood warnings have been issued for residents in low-lying areas nearby. Heavy rains caused flooding on the Neluwa Dellawa road. The Neluwa Divisional Secretariat has also dispatched a boat service.

According to the Ratnapura Disaster Management Centre, the water level of the Kalu Ganga has reached the level of a minor flood due to heavy rains in Ratnapura’s catchment areas.

The water level of the Kalu Ganga is 7.14 metres, according to a water metre installed near Ratnapura town on 31 May. The Ratnapura District Secretariat has declared that a minor flood is imminent.

The Ratnapura District Secretariat said that the Kalu Ganga and its tributaries will continue to rise due to intermittent rains in the catchment areas until around 2 p.m. on 30 May. The Ratnapura Disaster Management Committee has warned residents in low-lying areas near the Kalu Ganga and its tributaries to be cautious.

When the Kalu Ganga water level is 7.5 metres, the flood warning level is 5.2 metres and the minor flood level is 7.5 metres, according to the Ratnapura, Muwagama water metre installed on the Kalu Ganga. Flood danger levels of 9.5 metres and 10.5 metres have been declared.

The water level in Nilwala Ganga has risen dramatically as a result of heavy rains that have been falling since yesterday. Because of the Nilwala Ganga overflowing from the Panadugama area in Akuressa, the Panadugama area on the Akuressa – Pitabeddara main road has been inundated by about three feet.

By the afternoon of 30 May, the water level at the Panadugama water metre in Akuressa had risen to 6.5 metres. Several locations along the Malimbada road through Athuraliya Balu Kabala were inundated, causing minor traffic disruptions, where even motorcyclists found it difficult to ride through.

Low-lying areas in the Akuressa – Paraduwa area have been inundated, as have many by roads. People in the low-lying areas of Kadduwa, Malimbada, and Wellathota have been warned to be vigilant by noon on 30 May due to the rapid rise in the water level of the Nilwala Ganga.

If the rains continue, students sitting the GCE Ordinary Level examination this year face severe difficulties due to by-road flooding.

The District Disaster Management Unit and Divisional Secretaries have warned residents to be cautious as flash floods are possible in the Kalutara District in the coming hours due to heavy rains. By noon yesterday, a number of roads in the Bulathsinhala Divisional Secretariat Division had been inundated due to the opening of two sluice gates of the Kukule Ganga Power Plant and the release of a capacity of 190 cubic metres per second (31). The water level was approximately eight feet in the Paragoda and Dambala areas along the Bulathsinhala-Molkawa road. Overflowing of small rivers inundated roads and low-lying areas including Molkawa, Dambala, Atambagas Junction, and Veyangalla.

The Meegahatenna area received the highest rainfall, measuring 132 mm. Furthermore, the roads of Walallawita Thotaha and Walallawita Wedawatta were inundated, causing traffic disruptions.

According to the Disaster Management Unit, the Kalu Ganga has reached overflow, as have the Maguru River, Palan River, and Kukule Ganga, and there is a risk of flash floods due to the ongoing rains. Due to the heavy rains, landslide warnings have been issued in two stages for the Divisional Secretariats of Bulathsinhala, Walallawita, and Ingiriya.

According to farmer organisations, hundreds of acres of paddy fields, that are currently being sown have been inundated, and a large number of sown paddy fields have been damaged.

Meanwhile, The Sri Lanka Navy has deployed six relief teams in several places in the Sabaragamuwa and Southern Provinces as of Tuesday morning to provide relief to the people who live in vulnerable areas and are affected by flash floods, triggered by heavy showers in several parts of the island.

The relief teams were deployed as per the directives of the Navy Commander, Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne. The Western Naval Command has despatched four flood relief teams to Ratnapura.

The Southern Naval Command has sent out two relief teams to the Thawalama area in Galle.

Meanwhile, the Navy teams deployed in Ratnapura are currently engaged in flood relief efforts, easing the burden of school children and the public, with a minor flood situation in the area around Delgoda Bridge on Kalawana-Pothupitiya road in Ratnapura.

In addition, teams comprising sailors attached to three flood relief teams are being kept on standby in the Western Naval Command, eight in the Southern Naval Command, and 18 teams in the North Western Naval Command in order to provide relief and lifesaving.

The two sluice gates of Deduru Oya reservoir have been opened as a result of rapidly rising water level, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said. They cautioned the residents who are living in the low-lying and vulnerable areas to be vigilant about sudden hike in water levels.

River water levels could rise in the event of excessive rainfall of over 100mm in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, and North-Western provinces, as well as Kandy, Nuwara-Eliya, Galle and Matara districts.

BY Kamal Wijehewa – Galle, L. Niroshana – Kahawatte, Udaya Kumara Ranaweera – Matara and Wasantha Kumara – Matugama