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Friday June 25th, 2021
Environment

Sri Lanka floods, landslides kill two, fresh warnings as river waters rise

ECONOMYNEXT – Torrential rains that lashed Sri Lanka have triggered floods and landslides killing at least two and residents of low lying areas in several river basins have been warned of rising water levels, the island’s Disaster Management Centre said.

High rainfall had filled up reservoirs forcing gates of several dams to be opened, and water is now reaching lower elevations.

Water levels were rising in the Kelani River, Nilwala River Kalu Ganga (River), Ging Ganga and Attanagalu Oya the DMC said.

“Specially we saw a rapid increase in water levels in the The Attanagalu Oya, Doonamale area and Holombuwa, Nagalangam Weediaya near Kelani River also in danger,” Assistant Director, DMC, Pradeep Kodippili said.

“Therefore we ask locals in Kelaniya and Kaduwela areas specially to stay alert at the moment”

“Also Millakanda low area near Kalu Ganga should be in alert”

One person had died in a landslide in Kegalle and another had drowned in Hiniduma.

DMC units have been deployed to assist people who are in flooded areas and several more units were on standby, Kodippili said.

People can call 117 to call for help and reach rescue teams.

Rising water of the Gin Ganga (River) has flooded roads and some low level areas.

Thawalama, Hiniduma and Nagoda are under threat where DMC have been deployed, Kodippili said.

A rapid increase in water levels is seen in Nilwala River near Matara, Pandugama and warning have been issued to residents.

Dam gates of few reservoirs have been opened due to increase water level including

The gates of Udawalawa Reservoir, Kukule Ganga, Norton and Laxapana Pond have been opened, and downriver areas have been warned to be alert.

He said the landslide warnings issued to Kalutara, Kegalle and hill country will be continued and all residents should stay alert for any situation.

“We issued a handbook to people in risk areas about how to act in any situation and in a possible evacuation during a pandemic time” Kodippili said.

“Therefor, if an evacuation is done it will be done by the relevant authorities in the best way to not to spread the Covid 19 virus as well”

He said heavy rainfall is expected to continue especially in the Western, North Western and Southern Provinces.

There was no threat to Sri Lanka from a 6.7 magnitude earthquake in Indonesia. (Colombo/May14/2021)

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