Sri Lanka goes from drought to flood, landslide warnings

ECONOMYNEXT – Heavy monsoon rains have begun to drench Sri Lanka, ending a near year-long drought that deprived over a million people of drinking water, sparking warnings from authorities of floods and landslides.

People living near major rivers and on slopes of hills hit by monsoon rains should be alert to the possibility of earth slips and rising flood waters, the Disaster Management Centre said.

It disseminated warnings from the National Building Research Organisation asking residents to evacuate if they detect signs of earth slips like toppling trees or cracks in the ground.

The Irrigation Department said it was monitoring water levels in rivers and would provide early warning of possible floods.

Rains are expected to continue in the next 24 hours, authorities said.

Floods and drought slowed economic growth in 2016 to a three-year low of 4.4 percent from growth of 4.8 percent in 2015.

Agriculture-related activities contracted 4.2 percent in 2016, impacted by supply-side disruptions on account of floods in the second quarter and drought conditions during the final quarter of 2016.
(COLOMBO, May 25, 2017)

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