Sri Lanka flood reconstruction could reach $1.7bn: Finance Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Reconstruction after a record flooding in Sri Lanka could cost up toRs250 billion ($1.7 billion), Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake has said.

A Finance Ministry statement quoted Karunanayake as saying that provisional estimates indicated that reconstruction costs could be between Rs150-250 billion (koti 15,000 – 250,000) or $1.0-1.7 billion.

Large low lying areas in suburbs of Colombo went under water from heavy rains falling on the district, followed by overflowing waters from the Kelani River, which comes down from the hill country.

The Kelani River is prone to annual floods a decade ago, but the 2016 flood was unusually severe with the larger population in the city.

Karunanayake said filling of wetlands and unauthorised construction was partly to blame for the catastrophe.

There was unauthorized constructions on the banks of the Kelani River, the statement said.

In the Colombo district 105,000 people from 33,000 families were evacuated from their homes to safe locations.

Most of them are returning to their homes.

In the Kolonnawa area, 80,000 people from 20,000 families had been hit. (Colombo/May24/2016)

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