DS offices told to prepare for disaster situations

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Secretary to the President Saman Ekanayake has informed all District Secretaries to make necessary preparations to face possible disaster situations.

On the instructions of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Ekanayake has instructed the Secretary of the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government to issue direct orders to the relevant ministries and departments.

Accordingly, covering all the 25 districts, the District Secretaries will coordinate the efforts while the Geology and Mines Bureau, Meteorology Department and the Building Research Institutes will provide technical support.

The Disaster Management Centre, under the Ministry of Defence, will provide the necessary instructions to the relief service officers at the district disaster management coordination units and divisional secretariat level.

All line ministries have been notified to take necessary measures to avoid emergency situations and maintain public life, as well as to provide the necessary support for the speedy implementation of necessary relief programmes while maintaining the efficiency of the process at a high level, in the event of an emergency disaster situation.

The 117 hotline will be operational round the clock, while steps have also been taken to keep the National Disaster Relief Services Centre (NDRSC) operational 24 hours a day, the Disaster Management Center said.

Those affected by disasters will be provided food, lodging and other facilities through the NDRSC.