New techniques to mitigate landslide threats on EO1


Southern Expressway

by Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Modern technologies would be applied to mitigate the landslide risk area of the Southern Expressway soon, National Building Research Organization (NBRO) said yesterday.

The area between Imaduwa and Kokmaduwa on the Matara-Galle stretch of the Southern Expressway was temporarily closed after the NBRO warned that there was a risk of landslide near the 114 km post due to the adverse weather prevailing in the Southern Province.

Accordingly, the vehicles towards Matara must exit from Imaduwa, while the vehicles coming from Matara should exit at Kokmaduwa. The expressway was kept closed from 10 pm on Thursday (01) until 6 am yesterday (02) between Kokmaduwa-Imaduwa and reopened for traffic for nearly one hour. But, due to the risk, the stretch has been again closed until further notice.

NBRO Head of the Landslide Research and Risk Management Division R.M.S Bandara told The Island that the organisation had submitted to the Road Development Authority (RDA) the initial steps to be taken to mitigate possible landslides before the work on the expressway had started.

He stressed that there was no issue with the quality of the road. The RDA might have applied the latest technologies then but the mitigation techniques were rapidly changing and there were so many new techniques which the Authority would apply as long term mitigation method.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency and the World Bank funded landslide mitigation projects were currently being implemented in the areas of Mahiyanganaya and Badulla, Bandara said.

He stressed that the mitigation cost of the new techniques were very high and, therefore, the government would have to spend more money to apply those techniques in Sri Lanka.

The NBRO, issuing the landslide warning on Wednesday, said those residing in hilly parts of Galle, including Niyagama, Nagoda, Habaraduwa, Baddegama and surrounding areas should be vigilant.

In its landslide warning to Matara, the NBRO advised the residents of Kotapola, Pitabeddara, Akuressa, Weligama, Pasgoda, Athuraliya and surrounding areas to be vigilant.

Meanwhile, the District Disaster Management Coordinating Unit (DDMCU) in Galle said that the situation in Galle District was improving as the water levels were beginning to decrease in flood hit areas that had been at risk for the past couple of days.

In Galle, 110 persons belonging to 41 families were still at evacuation centres.

But, 40 people in Borden voluntarily evacuated their homes and have not yet returned.

However, DDMCU in Matara said that the situation had returned to normal since the flood was over and there were no more evacuees and everyone at the evacuation centres had returned home.

The Meteorology Department yesterday said there would be several spells of showers in the Western and Sabaragamuwa Provinces and in the Galle and Matara districts and thundershowers would be experienced at several places after 2.00 pm with temporary localized strong winds during thundershowers.

The department requested general public to take adequate precautions to minimise damages caused by lightning activity.


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