Stormy weather forced President Mahinda Rajapaksa to cut short his tour of flood-affected areas on Wednesday as torrential rain continued to play havoc in parts of Sri Lanka, killed 18 people and affecting at least 960,000 more.
The Disaster management Centre said that 180,151 people were living in 453 centres for the displaced set up in affected districts. The government has appealed to the public to donate essentials including dry rations, mattresses, bed sheets and drinking water.
R.M.S. Bandara of the National Building Research Organisation told reporters that landslide warnings were issued in 10 districts including Matale, Badulla and Kandy.
What is worse is that the livelihood of the victims is likely to be affected with more than one third of the country’s paddy productions coming from the flooded districts. About 40,000 acres of paddy cultivation has already been damaged.
Because of incessant rain drinking water ponds have also been contaminated. In Colombo, prices vegetables have shot up because of supply shortage.
P.B. Samarasinghe, Director General of the Meteorological Department said that rains are expected for the next three days while this was the heaviest rains that the country had witnessed in over thirty years.
Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times
Colombo, January 12, 2011
Source: Hindustan Times