Heavy overnight rains. the worst to lash Colombo in 18 years recording 440 mm, had affected 57, 920 families in the Western province, the Disaster Management Centre said yesterday.
Disaster Management Minister A. H. M Fowzie said there were close to 260,109 people affected and they were given all the necessary provisions until the flood water receded and they were able to return to their houses.
Among the affected families are 19,670 from the Colombo city, 13,169 from Kolonnawa, 5,145 from Ratmalana, 7,705 families from the Kalutara District and 3,840 from the Gampaha District.
“The Western Province is the worst hit by the rains nothing serious has been reported from other parts of the country,” Minister Fowzie said. He also said a total of Rs.20 million - Rs. 10 million for Colombo, Rs. 5 million for Kalutara and Gampaha each had been allocated to provide the necessary provisions to the victims.
Colombo recorded the second highest rainfall of 440.2 mm in history after a record of 492 mm 18 years ago, the Minister said. Ratmalana and Katunayake recorded a rainfall of 382.8 mm and 160.6 mm respectively.
“The drainage and canal systems in the city was cleared after it flooded the last time, under the directions of the President but the city could not handle such a downfall in such a short time,” he said. The Minister however said the flooding in the city was relatively less compared to previous occasions and it was due to the cleaning up of canals.
Meanwhile, Navy Spokesman Captain Athula Senerath said seven Navy teams including dingy boats were on stand by if assistance was needed. “One boat was deployed in the Diyawanna Oya, as the vicinity near the parliament was heavily affected by the rain,” he said.
Air Force spokesperson Janaka Nanayakkara also said air units were on stand by if assistance was needed. He said a Bell 212 helicopter had been deployed to assess the damage and that the report will be forwarded to the necessary authorities. Meanwhile, Co- Chairman of the Colombo District Development Committee, Minister of Petroleum, Susil Premajayantha has instructed the Electricity Board and Health Ministry officials to take necessary steps to restore electricity and prevent the spread of diseases. The Minister gave directions to take the necessary steps to provide food and lodgings for the displaced.
Source and photos : dailymirror.lk