Inclement weather claims six lives

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The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) yesterday (3) said the prevailing inclement weather conditions had claimed the lives of six persons and four persons have been reported missing.

The DMC added that 11,821 persons from 2,911 families had been affected until yesterday. One house fully and 257 houses had been partially damaged and 138 out of them have been reported from Pelmadulla DS Division in the Ratnapura District.

A total of 2,218 persons from 461 families evacuated from their residences have been accommodated in 15 safety centres, providing them with cooked meals, according to the DMC.

Senior Scientist of the Landslide Research and Risk Management Division at the National Building Research Organisation, Dr. K.P.G. Wasantha Senadeera, yesterday (3), said along with the prevailing adverse weather conditions, level one yellow, level two amber, and level three red landslide early warning alerts have been issued to nine districts across the country.

Dr. Senadeera said Hambantota, Kegalle, Matara, Nuwara Eliya, Ratnapura, Kandy, Matale and Galle districts are among them and added that the issued landslide early warning alerts are valid till the next notice. He said level three red evacuation level landslide early warning alerts have been issued to Walasmulla Divisional Secretariat (DS) Division and the surrounding areas in the Hambantota, Yatiyanthota, and Aranayaka DS divisions and the surrounding areas in the Kegalle District, Pasgoda DS Division, and the surrounding areas in the Matara District, Ambagamuwa, and Kotmale DS divisions and the surrounding areas in the Nuwara Eliya District and Imbulpe, Kalawana, Kahawatta, Kuruwita, and Nivithigala DS divisions, and the surrounding areas in the Ratnapura District.

The scientist added that the people residing in landslide prone areas in aforesaid 11 DS divisions in five districts have been advised to be vigilant of possible landslide risk and to be prepared to evacuate at any moment if they noticed any landslide signs and to move to safe zones.

He said level two amber (watch) landslide early warning alerts have been issued to Medadumbara and Ganga Ihala Korale DS divisions and the surrounding areas in the Kandy District, Ukuwela DS Division, and the surrounding areas in the Matale District, and Eheliyagoda, Pelmadulla, Ratnapura and Elapatha DS divisions and the surrounding areas in the Ratnapura District.

He said level one (watch) landslide early warning alerts have been issued to Nagoda DS Division and the surrounding areas in the Galle District, Delthota, Pasbage Korale, Udapalatha, and Doluwa DS divisions and the surrounding areas in the Kandy District, Dehiowita, and Deraniyagala DS divisions and the surrounding areas in the Kegalle District, Mulatiyana, and Athuraliya DS divisions and the surrounding areas in the Matara District, Nuwara Eliya DS Division, and the surrounding areas in the Nuwara Eliya District as well as Balangoda DS Division, and the surrounding areas in the Ratnapura District.

The people residing in the hilly areas and in the areas vulnerable to landslide have been instructed to be vigilant of possible landslide threats in the areas where they are living and surrounding areas. In case people in those areas notice any signs of landslides including sudden emergence of springs, muddy water, slanting of trees, cracks on the walls as well as on the floor of buildings and residences, and other landslide signs, they have been instructed to move to safer places immediately, informing the relevant authorities, including the nearest Police station in this connection, Senadeera added.

Meanwhile, the Irrigation Department said the water level of Nilwala River and Mahaveli River are rising in Thalgasgoda and Peradeniya areas. Residents have been advised to be vigilant of possible increase of water levels of these rivers.

By Naalir Jamaldeen