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Saturday, 15 May 2010

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Rain havoc

 

(Wednesday)
Area 	Rainfall
Neboda		101.3 mm
Gampaha		99.5 mm
Hiniduma	45.7 mm

(Thursday)   
Colombo		114 mm 

At least one person was killed, seven houses partially damaged and over 16,000 people affected due to heavy rain and strong winds, as pre-monsoonal rain wrecked havoc in the Colombo city and its suburbs yesterday. Disaster Management Ministry spokesman Pradeep Kodippilli said Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara districts experienced heavy rain and thunderstorm.

“Strong winds partially damaged seven houses in Nugegoda. Roofs of five houses were blown away by the strong winds,” he added.

Many roads in the Colombo city and its suburbs were underwater resulting in heavy traffic congestion for hours. Over 338 families in the Colombo district were affected due to floods. However, they were not displaced neither their houses damaged, Kodippilli told the Daily News.

Houses of around 20 families from Rajagiriya, 10 families from Nugegoda and Dematagoda, 50 families from Orugodawatte and Abhayarama, 150 families from Cotta road and Castle road in Borella and houses of 108 families from Ratmalana were reported to be underwater. Kodippilli said several roads in the Kalutara district were also underwater.

He said a woman died in Nuwara-Eliya when the roof of a house fell on her due to strong winds and heavy rain. Meanwhile, several vehicles were damaged when trees fell on them in various places in the Colombo city. The unusual rainfall of 114 millimetres fell by mid day yesterday inundating most roads in Colombo. D.S. Senanayaka Junction, Armour Street, Grandpass, Bloemendhal road, Jampettah Street, Reclamation road, Kirulapona, Wellawatta and other areas.

The intensity of the rainfall was so high and the existing drains and underground drainage systems could not absorb the runoff water within a short time. There were several unauthorized constructions and that too added to the misery, Colombo Municipal Council competent Authority Omar Kamil said.

”It is people’s actions that make the city unclean. Pavement hawkers leave all their leftovers and finally all that end up in gullies blocking them”, he said.

”The Navy and the Army are working with us assisting to clean up while all the CMC officers are working in the streets”, he added. This is in addition to the daily cleaning operation. We are doing our best to keep the city clean, Kamil noted.

Meteorology Department’s Deputy Director S R Jayasekera told the Daily News yesterday that it is the pre monsoon rains and the South West monsoon will begin in about a week’s time.

Yesterday’s rainfall of 101.3 millimeters was experienced in Neboda, Kalutara district, 99.5 millimeters in Gampaha and 45.7 milimetres in Hiniduma, he said. He also warned the public to be aware of thunder and lightning and asked the public to be careful especially when using electrical appliances.

A large tree had fallen opposite Gangarama Viharaya, Hunupitiya on the parapet wall of a girls’ hostel partly damaging it. Many trees had also fallen in several places in Colombo.

Additional District Secretary Gampaha W.A.D.P. Lakshman said though there were heavy rains experienced in Kelaniya, Negombo and Katana there were no flood threats.

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