rains, winds kill 17
|By S. Selvakumar
Torrential rains and gale force winds caused havoc
in the Galle and Matara districts and have so far
claimed 17 lives. This figure could rise due to
continuous disastrous climatic conditions that
prevailed as this edition went to press.
A number of houses were also badly affected by
lashing winds and thunder showers, reports added.
However, no casualties have been reported in the
Eastern Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts where
heavy rains broke out on Thursday but floods
destroyed valuable crops including thousands of
acres of paddy and made roads impassable, Centre for
Disaster Management said yesterday.
Meanwhile, government allocated funds to all
District Secretaries island wide depending on the
magnitude of the disaster. According to Assistant
Director and Media Spokesman of Disaster Management
Centre, Pradeep Kodippili, the damages caused both
in the South and the East could run up to several
millions rupees though no survey has still been
carried out to estimate damages.” Government is
ready to allocate adequate funds and District
Secretaries have been informed to seek financial
assistance to house the displaced and provide them
with meals and other urgent requirements,” Kodippili
He also said so far the State has not called for
any assistance from private sector or NGOs, though
such voluntary assistance would be much welcomed.
Most people died in the South were fishermen. Some
died due to trees falling on their dwellings as gale
force winds reached 70 kmh at times. The bad
climatic condition still remains and widespread
rains have been predicted in all parts on the
Security forces and police have been servicing in
the disaster hit areas and they were engaged in
rescue operations last evening. They were also
transporting people to safer areas and housing them
in school buildings and at religious places.
Situation in the South was calm after Friday’s
storm but in the East heavy showers continued for
the third successive day yesterday. Police advised
people to avoid traveling to the Southern coastal
areas and to Batticaloa.
Several roads in
Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa still remain inundated
and Meteorological Department forecasts more rains
Duty Officer at Colombo Observatory, Meteorologist
P.D. Yasaratne said last afternoon that occasional
showers or thunder showers would continue over most
part of the country and fairly heavy rainfalls and
strong winds were likely in some places. During the
last 24 hours, the highest rainfall of 111.2 mm
was registered at Haldummulla followed by 68.3 mm in
Bandarawela. Both places are located in the Central
Province. Damages due to natural disaster are
minimal in these areas.
However the Southern coastal areas where maximum
damage was caused registered a comparatively less
45.5 mm of rain but the gale force winds caused
havoc and disaster.