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Thursday December 7th, 2023

Sri Lanka’s heavy rains to intensify over next 24 hours: Met Dept

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Meteorology Department warned Monday (08) evening that prevailing rough weather conditions will intensify over the next 24 hours due to a low-pressure situation formed in the south-east Bay of Bengal before it subsides on November 10.

The Met Department  has issued a code red (high risk) warning of heavy rainfall above 150mm for the North Western, Western, Sabaragamuwa and Northern provinces and the Galle, Matara, Kandy and Nuwara Eliya districts. The rest of the country can expect moderate rainfalls up to 100mm.

“The current weather in Sri Lanka is caused by a wind convergence zone formed in the western part of the country which is enhanced by a low-pressure situation in the South-East area of the Bay of Bengal,” Malik Fernando, a Met Department meteorologist told EconomyNext.

“This will gradually intensify, but our data does not indicate that it is a cyclonic storm at the moment. However, it will intensify to a low pressure and then a depression.”

Fernando said the low pressure in the Bay of Bengal enhances heavy rainfall in the Northern, Western and North-Western parts of the country, particularly in the coastal areas.

“However, after November 10 heavy-falls will subside, but rains will continue,” Fernando said.

According to the expert, this is a typical inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ) situation which passes the island annually.

The ITCZ occurs twice a year and is commonly known as the inter-monsoon season. The first is from April to May and the second from October to November.

“This condition lies around Sri Lanka. This is a typical condition; in a year it moves upwards and downwards.”

The department expects strong winds (60-75kmp) mainly in the southern coastal and sea areas and elsewhere in the country.

Naval and fishing communities are advised not to venture the South-East Bay of Bengal sea area and southern sea areas of the Island until further notice.

Disaster Management Centre (DMC) reports also shows minor flooding is several rivers in the island: the Kelani Ganga (Kitulgala station), Gurugoda Oya (Holombuwa station), Kuda Ganga (Kalawellawa (Millakanda)), Gin Ganga (Baddegama), Attanagalu Oya (Dunamale station).

Most rivers flowing through station are also on alert, the DMC report said.

The Sri Lanka Navy has also kept relief teams on standby to respond to disasters and has deployed three teams to flood-prone Rathnapura and Galle districts, the Navy said. (Colombo/Nov08/2021)

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COP28 sees new era for climate action with $57 bln pledge; Sri Lanka’s proposals need approval

ECONOMYNEXT – The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) has witnessed governments, businesses, investors, and philanthropies announcing support of over $57 billion across the climate agenda in just the first four days of the global event with eight pledges and declarations receiving historic support.

After a historic deal to operationalize a fund for climate impact response on the first day, announcements have poured in across the entire climate agenda, including on finance, health, food, nature, and energy.

On climate finance, the COP28 host United Arab Emirates launched a $30 billion catalytic fund, ALTÉRRA, with an emphasis on unlocking private finance across the Global South.

The host nation also has announced $200 million for SDRs and $150 million for water scarcity.

The World Bank has announced an increase of $9 billion annually to finance climate-related projects, while the first two days of COP28 saw $725 million in pledges after a historic response to loss and damage was operationalized.

Eight new declarations have been announced which are expected to help transform every major system of the global economy.

These include the first ever declarations on food systems transformation and health, plus declarations on renewable energy and efficiency, as well as initiatives to decarbonize heavy emitting industries.

The eight declarations are:

  • The Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge has been endorsed by 119 countries.
  • The COP28 UAE Declaration on Agriculture, Food, & Climate has received endorsements from 137 countries.
  • The COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate and Health has been endorsed by 125 countries.
  • The COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate Relief, Recovery & Peace has been endorsed by 74 countries and 40 organizations.
  • The COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate Finance has been endorsed by 12 countries.
  • The Coalition for High Ambition Multilevel Partnerships (Champ) Pledge has been endorsed by 64 countries.
  • The Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter has been endorsed by 51 companies, representing 40 percent of global oil production.
  • The Industrial Transition Accelerator has been endorsed by 35 companies and six industry associations, including World Steel Association, International Aluminium Institute, Global Renewable Alliance, Global Cement and Concrete Association, Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, International Air Transport Association.

Three additional declarations will be announced in the coming days on hydrogen, cooling, and gender. The number of countries supporting these declarations and pledges is growing and demonstrates an unprecedented level of inclusivity at this COP.

Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe announced three new proposals: Climate Justice Forum (CJF), Tropical Belt Initiative (TBI), and International Climate Change University in Sri Lanka.

However, the proposals are yet to get approval from the general UN body though the island nation’s authorities expect wide support for the moves.

“What we have done is to talk to countries about the initiatives and launch them. Next step is for them to be formally recognized by the main body,” Ruwan Wijewardena, the Senior Advisor to President Wickremesinghe on Climate change, told Economy Next.

Breakdown of financial pledges and contributions so far:

  • Loss and Damage: $725 million
  • Green Climate Fund: $3.5 billion (increasing second replenishment to $12.8 billion)
  • Renewable Energy: $2.5 billion
  • Technology: $568 million
  • Methane: $1.2 billion
  • Climate Finance: Over $30 billion from UAE (plus $200 million in Special Drawing Rights and an increase of $9 billion annually from the World Bank)
  • Food: $2.6 Billion
  • Nature: $2.6 Billion
  • Health: $2.7 billion
  • Water: $150 million
  • Relief, Recovery and Peace: $1.2 billion
  • Local Climate Action: $467 million (Dubai/Dec 6/2023)
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Sri Lanka to start international tourism branding campaign

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will soon start a tourism international marketing campaign under the theme ‘You will come back for more,” Tourism Minister Harin Fernando said.

“We have not had a branding campaign for 15 years,” Fernando told parliament. “A campaign has been developed by Ogilvy.

“It will help us reach the target of 2.3 million tourists next year.”

This year Sri Lanka is expecting a 1.5 million tourists with close to 1.3 million reached by November.

About 6,000 tourists are now coming each day, at the moment he said.

On December 10, three cruise ships are due. (Colombo/Nov06/2023)

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Sri Lanka 3-month Treasuries yields fall

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Treasury bill yields eased across maturities with the tree month yield falling 19 basis points to 14.67 percent, data from the state debt office showed.

A total of 185 billion rupees in bills were sold, with sharply lower than offered volumes in 12-months sold.

The debt office offered 55 billion rupees of 3 -month bills and sold 87 billion.

92 billion rupees of 6-month bills were sold after offering 60 billion at 14.38 percent down 14 basis points.

Only 5.2 billion rupees of 12-month bills were sold after offering 70 billion rupees, at 12.88 percent, down 01 basis point. (Colombo/Dec06/2023)

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