Lanka under water
Deluge hits ten districts: 13 killed, 225,000
At least thirteen people, including an eight-year-old
child, have died and more than 225,000 rendered homeless in one
of the worst-ever floods swirling across ten districts in the country
since Thursday night.
The worst hit are the Gampaha and Kalutara districts
while the districts of Colombo, Galle, Matara, Puttalam, Ratnapura,
Badulla, Kegalle and Kurunegagla too have been severely affected.
|Wading through the flood water towards a high
and dry place
The deaths occurred in the districts of Kurunegala,
Gampaha, Galle, Puttalam and Badulla with the eight-year-old child
drowning at Wanathamulla in Borella yesterday.
While the floods have caused havoc in the North-western,
Western and Southern provinces, landslides in the central provinces
have resulted in some roads being made impassable and halted train
services between Kandy and Matale. Bus services between Colombo
and Nuwara Eliya have been re-routed through Hatton due to a landslide
at Ramboda and the Nuwara Eliya District Secretary said at least
two days would be needed to clear the area.
The Meteorology Department said yesterday that
weather over the island was improving gradually. However, there
would be showers in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, North-western and
Northern provinces while thunder showers would develop in several
places in Uva and Central provinces.
An Automobile Association spokesman said that
in the districts of Gampaha and Kalutara almost all the roads except
the main road were underwater. The situation was similar in the
Galle and Matara districts as well.
Motorists are advised not to travel along the
Colombo-Badulla as well as Gampola-Ramboda roads after 3 p.m due
to poor visibility caused by mist, the AA said.
In Colombo city, many roads were flooded with
the water level at the Nagalagam Street gauge registering 4.22 feet
by 10 a.m. yesterday.
Explaining one of the main reasons for the unprecedented
floods in the city, Disaster Management Centre Director Gamini Hettiarachchi
said Colombo was getting flooded easily because most of the garbage
was dumped into canals and they have got blocked as a result.
To clear the blocked canals a dredging programme
is underway at the Kithampuwa canal at a cost of Rs 13 million.
The centre also dispatched officers to Ratmalana, Timbirigasyaya,
Kesbewa, Kolonnawa and Kotte to arrange further clearing of canals,
the Centre said.
Wattala residents said the Hamilton canal running
through the area also needed urgent dredging as hundreds of homes
were flooded due to the overflowing of the canal.
cuts off road to airport
The Colombo-Negombo main
road was under water at Ambalanmulla in Seeduwa early this
morning, cutting off access to the airport. More than 200
vehicles were stranded on the main road for hours as the road
went under water.
A spokesman for the Sri Lankan Airlines told The Sunday
Times last night that at least 150 passengers had missed their
flights and had sought fresh bookings.
Sri Lankan Airlines cancelled its Kuala Lampur bound flight
and delayed three of its flights scheduled for this morning.
Flights were also delayed as the airline crew members could
not come on time due to floods.