Natural disasters kill 15, displace 6,800

Natural disasters kill 15, displace 6,800
A man carries his son while he walks on a flooded road in Matugama, June 3, 2014.

MATUGAMA, SRI LANKA- The death toll due to the prevailing adverse weather conditions affecting many parts of the country has shot up to 15 while two others are reported missing, according to the Disaster Management Centre (DMC).

Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that out of seven victims who had died due to the collapse of an embankment, in Matugama, three were children. The SSP said that two residents of Bulathsinhala had also died under similar circumstances and one was missing.

In another tragic incident in the early hours of yesterday in the Talangama North police area, a couple living on Dharmashoka road were buried alive when a granite wall collapsed on their house.

The highest rain fall of 160 mm during the last 24 hours ended at 8.30am yesterday was recorded at Neboda in the Kalutara District and it was the worst affected area due to the overflowing of the Uyanwatta Weva (reservoir).

DMC deputy director Sarath Lal Kumara yesterday told The Island that around 7,194 persons had been affected by floods in Kegalle, Kaluthara, Colombo, Gampaha and Matara Districts.

Ten deaths were reported from Agalawatte in the Kalutara District and two others from Kaduwela in the Colombo District due to collapsing embankments. Two persons had been reported missing in Agalawatta under similar circumstances and another one in Kelaniya due to floods, Lal Kumara said.

The DMC requested people living in the low lying areas to be cautious as several rivers including Kalu, Kukule, Gin, Bentrata and Nilwala were in spate and the threat of floods was imminent.

Low-lying areas in the Agalawatta, Welipanna, Matugama, Paalinda Nuwara and Omatta Divisions in the Kalutara District have been affected by floods. Several main roads and byroads in Colombo, Kalutara and Galle also went under water yesterday.

Lal Kumara said that five teams from the Navy and Air Force had been deployed to rescue victims.

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