Victims of Bad Weather

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Inclement weather killed three, made four to go missing, and injured one since the beginning of this month to 6:00 a.m. yesterday, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said.

It further said, during this period, bad weather impacted 3,194 families comprising 12,829 people, of whom 480 families comprising 2,313 persons were displaced. DMC also said inclement weather destroyed one house, while partially damaging 985 others. The impacted districts are Jaffna, Nuwara Eliya (NE), Kandy, Matale, Galle, Hambantota, Matara, Ratnapura, Kegalle, and Gampaha.

The three deaths were reported from Ambagamuwa, NE due to cutting failure/floods, three of the four missing due to ‘cutting failure’ in Kotmale, NE and the other in Pasbage Korale, Kandy. The injured was a victim of heavy rains in Matale, while the majority of those impacted, 3,129 families comprising 12,578 persons were from the Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces. Also, the majority of the houses damaged (921) and the one destroyed, also belonged to these two provinces.

The inference is that the Government needs to take steps to strengthen the vulnerability of the Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces in particular due to the vagaries of the weather. Planned development and reforestation may be part of the solution.

In a separate report filed by the Irrigation Department (ID) at 12:00 noon yesterday, it warned that the Nilwala Ganga overlooked by the Thalgahagoda Gauging Station (GS) had reached minor flood level, while at the Panadugama GS end an “alert” warning has been issued, though at the same time the ID said the water levels overlooked by Panadugama were falling.

Similarly, ID said though the waters of the Kehelgamu Oya, a Kelani Ganga tributary overlooked by the Norwood GS were at “alert” level, those waters were however falling. Like “alerts,” but complemented by “falling” levels were issued in respect of the Ratnapura GS covering Kalu Ganga and the Kalawellawa (Millakanda) GS overlooking Kuda Ganga, a Kalu Ganga tributary, respectively.

In related developments, the Met Department forecast that showery and windy conditions are expected to continue further in the Southwest quarter of the island due to active Southwest Monsoon today. Showers or thundershowers will occur at times in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Central, and North Western Provinces and in Galle and Matara Districts.

Heavy rainfalls about 100 mm can be expected at some places in the Sabaragamuwa Province and in Kandy and Nuwara Eliya districts. Several spells of showers may occur in Northern and North Central provinces. Very strong winds about 60 kmph can be expected at times along the western slopes of the Central Hills, while strong winds about 50 kmph can be expected at times in the Northern, North Central, Western, North Western, and Southern provinces and in the Trincomalee District.

The Department also forecast that in the 24 hours ending at 12:00 noon today, showers or thundershowers will occur at several places in sea areas off the coast extending from Kankesanthurai to Pottuvil via Puttalam, Colombo, Galle and Hambantota. Winds will be westerly to south westerly and wind speed will be 30-40 kmph. Wind speed can increase up to 60-70 kmph in the sea areas off the coast extending from Puttalam to Pottuvil via Colombo, Galle, and Hambantota. Wind speed can increase up to 50-60 kmph in the sea areas off the coast extending from Puttalam to Batticaloa via Mannar, Kankasanthurai, and Trincomalee.

The sea areas off the coast extending from Mannar to Pottuvil via Puttalam, Colombo, Galle, and Hambantota will be very rough at times, it said. Sea areas off the coast extending from Puttalam to Batticaloa via Mannar, Kankasanthurai, and Trincomalee will be rough at times. The other sea areas around the island will be moderate.

There is a possibility of an increase in swell waves (about 2.5-3.5 m) in the sea areas off the coast extending from Mannar to Pottuvil via Puttalam, Colombo, Galle, and Hambantota. Therefore, it is advised not to venture into fishing and naval activities in the sea areas off the coast extending from Mannar to Pottuvil via Puttalam, Colombo, Galle, and Hambantota until further notice, the Department concluded. Don’t resist, but fall in line with nature.