Rains, gale force winds wreck havoc in Colombo

Published : 9:16 am  November 30, 2017 | No comments so far |  |  (179) reads | 
  • Winds reaching speeds of over 80 kmph hit Matara, 60 – 70 kmph winds in Colombo 
  • Power outages in Colombo and suburbs 
  • Over 150mm rainfall across the country 
  • Schools in the Western, Central, Southern and Uva Provinces closed today
  • BIA bound flights diverted to Mattala 
  • DMC issues landslide warning for Ratnapura, Matara, Nuwara Eliya, Galle, Matale and Badulla Districts 

 

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A Buddha statue that had been erected near the World Trade Centre (WTC) had fallen down as hurricane type gale force winds accompanied by torrential rain wrecked havoc in the City of Colombo.   
Pic by Pradeep Dilrukshana 
 

 

By Thilanka Kanakarathna   

Hurricane style gale force winds accompanied by torrential rain wrecked havoc in the City of Colombo last night ripping out trees and causing power disruptions in many areas of the City and its suburbs. Several trees were seen to have fallen on vehicles as well as public property as a result.   

 

The weathr conditions started to worsen at about 9 pm last night and many parts of the country felt the brute force of mother nature including many parts of the Western Province and the coastal areas.   Fallen trees were seen obstructing a number of roads including the Colombo-Kandy Road and several other places including the court complex entrance at   Aluth Kade. Meanwhile, a tree has fallen on to power lines supplying electricity to the Sri Jayawardenapura Hospital cutting off the electricity supply. Power outages were also reported in many parts of the country. It was reported that Galle, Matara and and Ambalangoda were the worst hit with many power outages also being reported.   Police personnel along with fire fighters were seen working throughout the night to clear the fallen trees and clear the debris that had been scattered all over the City with the strong winds causing damage to several buildings in the Metropolitan area as well as damage done to statues while large billboards had also borne the brunt of the gale force winds that ripped through the city.   


Strong winds exceeding 80 kmph accompanied by heavy rain hit several areas in the Southern Province last evening causing damage to house and property. The Matara District was the worst effected. Meanwhile, the DMC had issued landslide warnings for the Ratnapura, Matara, 


Nuwara Eliya, Galle, Matale and Badulla Districts.   


The Education Ministry had taken a decision to close schools in the Western, Central, Southern and Uva Provinces while term tests that were being conducted were also postponed after considering the adverse weather conditions in the country at present.  


Two Bandaranaike International Airport ( BIA) bound flights from Chennai (UL 124) and Bangalore (UL 172) were diverted to the Mattala International Airport last night due to the adverse weather conditions that were being experienced in the Western Province.   


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Adverse weather: Police ordered to be on standby

 

 By Thilanka Kanakaratne   

 

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Law and Order and Southern Development Minister Sagala Ratnayaka has instructed IGP Pujith Jayasundara to keep the police standby to face any possible threat posed by the prevailing adverse weather conditions in the country.   

 

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Police Media Spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said police personal have been deployed in many areas affected by the strong winds accompanied by pelting rain with special attention being paid to the Galle, Matara and Ambalangoda areas.  


He further said train travel on the coastal railway line had been disrupted as trees had fallen across the lines while power disruptions had also been reported in several areas.   


He said the police had been told to stay on full alert in order to ensure law and order was not disrupted as well as to ensure public safety. 

 

 

 


 

Met Dept. issues red alert oN heavy rains

By Sheain Fernandoplle and Thilanka Kanakarathna   

Department of Meteorology had issued a red alert warning to the public of heavy rains over 150 mm across the country along with gusty strong winds about 60-70 kmph and rough seas, Disaster Management Centre Deputy Director, Pradeep Kodippili said yesterday.   

He warned the people living around the hilly areas to be vigilant of land slides and cut slope failures and evacuate to safe locations.   


As the low pressure area in the vicinity of Sri Lanka had developed into a depression, heavy rains along with gusty strong winds about 60-70 kmph and rough seas can be expected further over the island, Department of Meteorology stated in its weather bulletin.   


It said that the low pressure area in the vicinity of Sri Lanka was expected to develop further and move away from the island along the southern coast.   


“Showers or thunder showers will occur in most parts of the island and very heavy falls above 150mm can be expected at some places in the Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Central, Western and Uva Provinces,” Met Department said.   
When considering the sea areas, very heavy rains, very strong winds and very rough seas can be expected in the deep and shallow sea areas around the Island especially in the Western and Southern sea areas.   


As there may be temporary localized strong winds during thunder showers, it requested the general public to take sufficient safety measures to minimize damages caused by lightning activity. Nevertheless it requested naval and fishing communities to be vigilant in this regard.   


Also, Kodippili said the Tri-force had kept on standby to respond immediately to any disaster situation and the DMC control room is also would broadcast the weather situation and inform the general public.   


Meanwhile, one sluice gate of the Upper-Kotmale dam was opened last evening due to rising water levels caused by the heavy rains that have plagued the Central Province.   


The Engineers of the Upper-Kotmale dam advised the residents living in the downstream of the dam to be vigilant as a further increase of the water level would automatically cause the remaining sluice gates to open.   
Flash floods are expecting in several areas downstream of the dam if the water level increase further.