Floods play havoc
Floods following the heaviest rains in 18 years displaced at least 200,000 people in the Western Province.
Many roads in Colombo and the suburbs were inundated bringing traffic to a standstill at times and severely affecting day-to- day activities of the public.
The Colombo district experienced 440.2 mm rainfall from 7.00 pm Wednesday to 7.00 am Thursday, considered as the highest since June 04, 1992 when it received a rainfall of 493.7 mm. Colombo Fort received its highest rainfall ever of 411.3 mm. Disaster Management Minister A H M Fowzie said that the Government had taken all measures to assist the affected.
Temporary shelters, medical facilities and food have been provided to the displaced, he added.
According to the Minister the Government has allocated Rs 20 million to assist the affected in the Western Province. More monies would be released when needed, he said.
However, no casualties or large scale damage to property were reported, according to Minister Fowzie.
The police instructed commuters to stay away from flooded roads yesterday morning. Motorists were urged to use public transport.
Several roads leading to Colombo City at Armour Street, Grand Pass, Dematagoda and parts of Piliyandala road were heavily flooded.
Railway officials said the morning railway services were delayed until the tracks were cleared from trees and other debris.
The Sri Lanka Navy deployed flood relief teams to assist hundreds of people displaced due to the flash floods.
Many schools mainly in the Western Province were closed. Term tests were postponed to later dates under the instruction of Education authorities.
Even the Parliament premises was under a few feet of water.
The Western Province bore the brunt of the heavy rains during the last 48 hours. Kalutara received 160.6 mm of rain.
Kurunegala (88.1 mm), Ratnapura (69.4 mm) and Galle (58.1 mm) were affected to a lesser degree. Meteorological Department Chief G B Samarasinghe yesterday predicted more thunder showers, specially in the evenings during the next couple of days.
He said that the severity of showers would be less.
However, on a more gloomy note the Meteorological Chief said that a low depression area was forming in the Bay of Bengal which may affect Sri Lanka by Monday or Tuesday.
He attributed the present conditions to an unstable atmospheric belt formed closer to Sri Lanka during inter monsoonal periods.
He said that due to this unstable atmospheric conditions it was very difficult to predict adverse weather accurately and added that this was the conditions experienced in tropical countries during the inter monsoonal periods.
Meanwhile Minister Fowzie said that he was confident that the floods in the city would recede fast and his Ministry had taken steps to clean city canals since floods last May.
He urged the affected public to call relevant authorities directly when in need. The Minister could be approached on mobile number 0712136266, the Deputy Minister 0777688690, Ministry Secretary 0777811805 or Disaster Management Emergency Operations Centre on 0773678900.
Courtesy: Daily News
Every year hurricanes caused in the Bay of Bengal hit mostly Bangladesh causing floods and disaster. We get the tail end of these hurricanes usually. Over the years this monsoon weather has increased in its ferocity. It is mostly the poor who suffer with their humble dwellings swept away leading to death and destruction.
We cannot leave it to fate and let nature take its own course. We are human beings who can reason and plan to prevent such disasters, year in year out. We have to find solutions.
Global warming is blamed for polar caps melting. Millions of years ago SL was attached to Indian sub-continent until erosion caused the separation to form an island. It was a large island before until further erosion dwindled it into the present size. With polar caps melting and sea levels rising, erosion will become worse. We have to combat sea erosion now, otherwise the sea will swallow one third of the island. We fought and obliterated the evil menace of LTTE from claiming one third of the island and half its coast. We have even a worse enemy now who does not fight with guns and bombs. This enemy is sea erosion. Lands with houses are swallowed up. We have a good man in Hon President who must fight this sea erosion as he fought the LTTE. Some countries combat sea erosion by building GROYNES on the coast line, every 100 metres, extending into the sea. These groynes are walls of granite boulders, sweeping like giant arms into the sea. They trap sea sand as the waves lash the coast to build-up the sea coast and prevent erosion.
How are we to prevent floods in heavy wet weather. Firstly, we had a natural solution for it. They are the large marshes around Kotte. The marshes soaked-up the excess rain water like giant sponges, to prevent flooding. However, greedy men filled-up these marshes to build houses for selfish gain. Though there are laws to prevent it, the greedy men circumvented the laws as they always do, by bribing politicians and other officials who were equally greedy, to fill-in the marshes for commercial gain. The result is, the natural balance we had of managing floods, was disturbed. During heavy monsoon weather rivers overflow and flood the lands causing disaster. The government is left to pick-up the bill.
So, the solutions are to enforce the law against filling-up of marshes. Build lakes in those cities that suffer floods, served by canals from rivers leading to the lakes, to take away the excess water in times of floods.
Our system of open sewers is wrong. In developed countries there are no open sewers which get clogged-up with rubbish to become mosquito breeding grounds. In the West, all sewers are under ground, about 10 ft under ground, on the side of roads. The sewers are made of long-lasting thick polypropylene pipes with a huge bore. Every 50 meters on the road there are metal grates at the edge of the road to let rain water into the sewers beneath through large-bore polypropylene pipes. The sewers conduct the rain water away safely. Sewage from houses are also conducted away in these pipes to holding tanks where it is filtered and then conducted away safely into the sea. This is civilsation. This is town planning. Now is the time to plan under Mahinda Chintanaya to build SL to be foremost country in the world in step with the developed world. It will take time and money, but it has to be done as part of our infra-structure building.
Well done Nicholas, your drainage solutions to our submerged city are indeed a brilliant technological feat.
In the post independence era, Civil Engineers for water, drainage, irrigation and roads were predominantly from the terrorist tamil community.
These folks never cared about our country; they were interested only in personal wealth and building assets to provide dowry for their daughters.
There was lots of corruption in the Engineering sector dominated by terrorist tamil engineers and overseers. The took over lands in drainage paths to build dwellings.
Any Terrorist Tamil Engineer, Technical Assistant or Overseer could be bought with money. In addition, I am personally aware of many “Checkroll” millionaires in the terrorist tamil community who rorted the system. They never ensured work to quality standards; in many instances work was never carried out but the Buddhist Citizens of Sri Lanka “paid” for work which was never carried out, with their sweat and tears.
A better balance in education was achieved with the standardisation introduced in the 70’s. Sri Lanka has ensured that opportunities are shared equally between the communities on a proportional basis and this has resulted in patriotic Sinhala buddhists in control of their destiny.
There has been a significant drop in corruption in the past 5 years under “Mahinda Chintana”. The reprobates like the former CJ who were a roadblock to public servants of the calibre of DR PBJ have now been eliminated.
Sri Lanka is now on the correct path as attested by the Foreign Minister for Singapore. The dreams of the nation are now unfolding.
We have a few more mountains to conquer in the path to total emancipation and this we shall achieve commencing 19 Nov when The MChintana Era 2 will be born.
Thank you Guru Sathyadasa. Jaffna Tamils mostly, availed themselves of our free educational system to rise to prominence in medical, engineering, accountancy, legal, political and educational fields. They worked to a plan, to capture power one day of the WHOLE country by political and military means. They were totally ungrateful. When the British left, giving the Sinhalese as the majority autonomy over our country, quite rightly, the Tamil politicians of the day were furious and filled with hatred. This hatred continues to this day and even to future generatins. The Tamils smart because they are not a nation. Even 70 million Tamils in Tamil Nadu are not a nation. But why try to form a Tamil nation here? I blame the Tamil political leaders, chiefly TNA, for this open hatred against the Sinhalese and Muslims, but not the ordinary Tamil SL citizens. These people want to lead a simple happy life as SL citizens. Even after the utter defeat of the VP-led LTTE, the Tamil diaspora has re-grouped to form their so-called Transnational Tamil Government with Rudrakumaranof USA as PM, and Nediyavan of Norway as military leader, to replace VP. USA, Britain, France and Norway give them recognition for vested interests. The imperial West is also our enemy. Our true friends are China, Russia and certain non-aligned countries. However, GS please refrain from playing the Sinhala-Buddhist card too much, because you will be accused of extremism which is as bad as Tamil nationalism. We must be focused on unifying SL as ONE NATION and not be divisive.
Beira lake and its system of canals is an example of preventing floods in Colombo city. But it is not working properly today because of silting of the lake and the canals that feed it. These must be well maintained. More lakes should be built in Colombo Province with a supporting network of canals to feed them, to drain the flood water during monsoon seasons from the rivers to the lakes. The canals must be controlled by sluice gates. It is the excess flood waters from the rivers that must flow into the rivers and not vice versa.
In the meantime, the filling of marshes/swamps in and around Kotte must be stopped immediately with heavy fines and imprisonment. Politicans who engage in this illegal activity and corruption must be punished. Only MR will have the backbone to do this.
As I outlined earlier, we need a completely new sewerage system as in the developed West. Japan, China and South Korea can help us to build this with aid and technology, with the assistance of also ADB. Why not get Norway to fund it entirely in compensation for 30 years of destruction of our economy by supporting the evil LTTE openly? Norway stands accused today of war crimes and crimes against humanity in SL, for openly supporting LTTE financially and militarily.
The Sri Lankan Government has to move it’s bottom as soon as possible and help the country in this disasterous state. There’s no use to fly all over and look at the flooded areas. They must take dry foods,
clothing and distribute as soon as possible.
Very soon sickness will break out everywhere!! Are they aware that they should see that the necessary
medicines are available in this case.
Why wait for only the Big Companies in the state pump their money to help the people in this situation!!
They should be ashamed to wait for help from other countries. Living abroad everybody is willing to
help but after the aid given after the Tsunami, which went into Ministers pockets, they have to be sure as to where the money is going to be used!!