Expect heavy rains to continue

By Leon Berenger

An estimated 3,259 persons have been affected by the torrential rains and gale-force winds that have been lashing different parts of the country over the past few days. More wet weather is expected in the coming days, prompting the authorities to be in a state of alert.

The worst affected areas are Chilaw, Puttalam and Mannar, in the Madhu area, according to Pradeep Koddipilli of the Disaster Management Centre (DMC).

Mr. Pradeep told the Sunday Times that some 58 houses have been extensively damaged in the floods, while 227 houses have been partially affected. Four persons injured in the floods are being treated at local hospitals.

“We are looking at an emergency scenario, and we are on alert,” Mr. Koddippili said. “Dry rations and emergency relief items are available for distribution.” Eight welfare centres set up in the Chilaw-Puttalam area are accommodating 3,471 displaced persons. The Meteorology Department predicts more rain in the coming days.

The authorities have decided to open at least 22 sluice gates at the Ingirimitya Tank, the Thabowa Wewa in the Puttalam district, and two gates at the Rajangana Tank, in Anuradhapura. “We are also monitoring the situation in Moneragala, where the town is taking a lot of water,” he added. An estimated 5,000 families are reported to be affected in five Grama Sevaka divisions in the Mannar district. Heavy rainfall is expected in this area in the next few days.

A Meteorology Department spokesperson said strong winds and heavy rains are expect to hit the North and East and the Gulf of Mannar in the coming week. Atmospheric disturbances in the region have caused the bad weather, the department spokesperson said. “It is also the inter-monsoon period,” she added.The public is advised to take precautions against lightning as the wet weather continues.

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