Vehicular traffic in Colombo, its suburbs and the southern parts of the country, came to a standstill for several hours last afternoon as torrential rains and strong winds flooded roads with fallen trees blocking some of them.
The rains lashed Colombo, Kalutara, Galle districts and several parts of the Western Province as a result of active cloud cover and convergence of winds in the west of Sri Lanka.
The Meteorology Department said the active cloud cover was an intermediate condition of the upcoming South West Monsoonal season and the Inter Monsoonal season.
Most of the areas in the City including Horton Place, Borella, Pettah, Dematagoda, Thunmulla, Kirillapone and Nugegoda, were under water.
Colombo had a rainfall of 88.9 mm resulting in the roads chock 'o block with traffic.
Trees had fallen near the Telecom Head Office in Fort, the Fire Brigade Headquarters at Darley Road in Maradana, Tractor Cooperation Junction in Pettah, the road behind the BMICH and opposite the National Museum in Colombo.
Heavy traffic was reported along the Baseline Road because of the road being blocked by a container truck that had toppled over near the Kelanitissa Power Station.
The Vesak pandal erected at the Kiribathgoda Town had also collapsed damaging four vehicles. In Maharagama, the police taken steps to remove the vehicles parked near the Maharagama pandal and asked the people to move away from the vicinity of the pandal as there was a possibility of it collapsing because of the strong winds.
Duty Meteorologist Nimal Bandara said heavy rains should occur in several districts including Ratnapura and Galle on at least three consecutive days for the department to announce the arrival of the South West Monsoon.
He said heavy rains or thunder showers of more than 100 mm could occur in the southern parts of the country including the Western, North-Western, Central, Sabaragamuwa and Southern Provinces.
Mr. Bandara however said drought-affected areas had not been received sufficient rain yesterday.
In the weather forecast issued for the next 36 hours, the department said fairly strong winds at times could be expected over the island especially in the western slope of the central hills and strong winds at times in the surrounding seas of up to 60-70 kmph. (Lahiru Pothmulla)