At least seven people were killed, 26 injured and five reported missing as heavy showers and strong winds lashed the South-Western parts of the country as the deep depression which originated in the Bay of Bengal was moving away from Sri Lanka.
Around 18,781 people belonging to 4,886 families of 13 districts in 66 Grama Niladhari Divisions were affected by the situation while 1,036 people were evacuated to safer locations.
The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) reported 201 houses were completely destroyed while another 3,250 houses were damaged partially. It said 676 small and medium sector industries were partially damaged.
According to the Meteorology Department, the deep depression had travelled towards the Arabian Sea to the west-northwest ward direction by last evening while developing into a cyclonic storm.
However it said more atmospheric depressions are expecting in the coming days in the Bay of Bengal.
“Showery and windy condition about 60-70 kmph are expected over the island particularly in the South-Western part in the coming days. Heavy rain fall of about 100 to 150 mm can be expected further at some places in the Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Central, Uva and Western provinces,” it added.
Meanwhile, the Irrigation Department said that the water levels of Pitabeddara, Panadugama and Sapugoda areas in Nilwala River and Thawalama area in the Gin River were reaching spill levels.
Issuing a statement, the Department said that the Nilwala, Gin and Kalu Rivers had received high rainfalls during the past 24 hours and advised that people living downstream areas to be vigilant in this regard.
“Minor flood situations could be occurred around the said reservoirs if the heavy rain continues,” it added.
Leave of all the police officers in the country have been cancelled until further notice due to the prevailing weather condition in the country.
The acting IGP has taken the decision on the instruction of Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake. He also instructed to deploy police to safe guard the damaged houses from looters.
The decision was taken after a meeting led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and senior ministers, disaster management officials, three forces commanders and police last evening.
Meanwhile, holding a media conference in Colombo yesterday, Disaster Management Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said though the current deep depression was moving away from the country, another atmospheric depression was likely to be developed in the Bay of Bengal.
However, he said according to the present data, the Meteorology Department could not predict its behaviour this early.
“We advise the public to be vigilant even in the next couple of days,” he added.
Also 1,900 tents have been delivered for the purpose of temporary shelters by the Disaster Management Ministry for the areas in Colombo, Galle, Matara and Kalutara.
The ministry had instructed the Divisional Secretariats to provide immediate relief provisions to the victims of the situation.
Also it had requested the public to contact hotline numbers 117, 011- 2670002, 011- 2136136 for further assistance.
Meanwhile, Army Spokesman Roshan Seneviratne said over 3,000 from tri- forces had been deployed to the relief provisions.
26 teams of the Air Force consisting of 30 each have also been placed in Ratmalana, Hingurakgoda and Anuradhapura airbases while 30 teams of naval personnel ere deployed to locate the the missing fishermen.
Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Spokesperson Sulakshan Jayawaradne said maintenance teams also had initiated the work to restore the power disruptions in the affected areas. “It would take about one and half a day to restore the electricity,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Wildlife Conservation Department announced the public to refrain from visiting the Block 2 of the Yala National Park and Horton Plains National Park due to the prevailing adverse weather conditions.
Department’s Publicity Officer Hasini Sarathchandra told Daily Mirror that that the roads of the Block 2 of Yala National Park and entry roads to the Horton Plains National Park were destroyed due to the adverse weather.
“Therefore, the department request the public to avoid visiting these places until the weather conditions would get settled,” she said. (Thilanka Kanakarathna, Kalathma Jayawardhane and Reka Tharangani)