Inclement weather leaves 650,635 in distress



by Dasun Edirisinghe


More than 650,000 people have been affected by inclement weather across the country during the last few days, the Disaster Management Centre says.


DMC Assistant Director Sarath Lal Kumara told The Island that 650,635 people had been affected. Two persons had died in floods in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Vavuniya, Mannar, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Jaffna, Nuwara Eliya and Kandy Districts.


He said that two persons had also been injured by mudslides and floods.


"People in landslide vulnerable areas of the Kandy District and flooded areas of the Mannar Districts have been removed to safe locations," Kumara said, adding that cooked food and other essential goods had been provided to them by the DMC through


Divisional Secretariats.


Meanwhile, the Meteorology Department said that rainy weather would continue until Dec. 27 as the low pressure area over the atmosphere still remained.


Duty Meteorologist Channa Rodrigo told The Island that under the influence of the low pressure area located to the south east of Sri Lanka, showery and windy weather would continue over most parts of the island and its sea areas.


He said that cloudy skies and intermittent showers or thunder-showers would occur over most parts of the country, especially in the North-central, North-western, Eastern, Sabaragamuwa, Central, Southern and Uva provinces. Very heavy rain fall (more than 150mm) are also likely at some places.


Meanwhile the United National Party issuing a statement extended their sympathies and solidarity to all those who were affected by floods.


The communique said that only 12% of the victims had access to shelter. Many still did not have access to safe drinking water or sanitation and others were without food.


"We call upon the government, civil society and all people of Sri Lanka to participate in a national effort to aid the flood victims at this critical juncture," the statement said.


It says that the immediate response to the disaster must give way to mid – term solutions that assure that the affected communities are able to restore their livelihoods, and recover from the loss of their primary means of subsistence – the Maha harvest.


All political parties must make credible pledges on farmer insurance and learn from this tragedy that must prioritise effective and non – politicized management of water system and response to such disasters in the future.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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