Eight districts hit by landslides, rock falls

A number of incidents of rock falls and falling of mounds of earth onto houses, roads and railway tracks were reported yesterday due to heavy rains.

Army personnel together with the Road Development Authority officers were engaged in removing soil and branches of trees, which had fallen onto roads, to clear them for vehicular traffic from yesterday morning.

Many areas in the Central Hills were still under water yesterday, and Nilwala Ganga had been overflowing and water levels of its stations ‘Thalgahagoda’ and ‘Panadugama’ indicated minor floods as at yesterday noon.

A mound of earth fell onto the Ginigathhena-Nawalapitiya road and motorists have been requested not to use that road as there is a risk of more such incidents. A house in Hatton had been severely damaged as a mound of earth fell onto it around 2.30am yesterday. More such incidents had been reported near the Woodland area in the Hatton-Colombo road. Several estate houses in Hatton had also been damaged when a tree fell on them.

Incidents of rock falls and falling of mounds of earth had been reported at 15 locations of the upcountry railroad. The Railway Department officers said the restoration of tracks could take a few days.

Two spill gates of the Upper Kothmale Reservoir and six spill gates of the Polgolla Dam of the Mahaveli Reservoir had been opened and the people have been asked to be vigilant of the rising water levels. The volume of water in Ravana and Ella waterfalls have increased due to heavy rains, and the people, who travel on the roads in front of them, have also been asked to be vigilant.

According to the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) Situation Report yesterday morning, a total of 12,289 people belonging to 3,037 families in the Jaffna, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, Matale, Galle and Hambantota Districts have been affected due to heavy rains, high winds, floods, and landslides from Monday. About 2,374 people belonging to 485 families have been evacuated to safe locations. Three people had died and another four people were still missing. About 326 houses had been partially damaged.

The Meteorology Department said the maximum rainfall of 212mm was reported in Canyon, Nuwara Eliya in the 24 hours ended last morning.

“Showery and windy conditions are expected to continue in the western and southern sea areas and in the southwest quarter of the island due to the active Southwest Monsoon,” the Department said.

Its weather forecast for today predicted that showers or thundershowers would occur in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Central, and North-Western provinces and in the Galle and Matara districts. “Heavy rainfalls above 100 mm can be expected at some places in Sabaragamuwa province and in Kandy, Nuwara-Eliya, Galle and Matara districts. Several spells of showers may occur in Northern and North-Central provinces. Very strong winds about 60 kmph can be expected at times along the western slopes of the Central hills while strong winds about 50 kmph can be expected at times in the Northern, North-central, Western, North-western and Southern provinces,” the weather bulletin said.

It also advised against venturing into fishing and naval activities in the sea areas off the coast extending from Mannar to Pottuvil via Puttalam, Colombo, Galle and Hambantota until further notice.

“The sea areas off the coast extending from Mannar to Pottuvil via Puttalam, Colombo, Galle and Hambantota will be very rough at times. The sea areas off the coast extending Puttalam to Batticaloa via Mannar, Kankasanthurai and Trincomalee will be rough at times. The other sea areas around the island will be moderate.There is a possibility to increase swell waves (about 2.5 – 3.5 m) in the sea areas off the coast extending from Mannar to Pottuvil via Puttalam, Colombo, Galle and Hambantota,” the Department added.

by Daily News Sri Lanka

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