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Sri Lanka: Floods - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) (DREF n° MDRLK012)

Sri Lanka
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A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

The southwest monsoon and activation of a depression which was later developed to tropical cyclone “Tauktae” over the southeast Arabian sea triggered heavy rainfall in Sri Lanka from 12 to 14 May 2021. Western, South and Sabaragamuawa provinces of Sri Lanka were worst affected. Sri Lanka’s Department of Meteorology has reported a maximum rainfall up to 336 millimeters in the Western province particularly in Kalutara district. During this period five deaths have been reported in Gampaha, Galle and Kegalle districts.

Even though rain has stopped, the affected low-lying areas are still inundated with floods in the nine districts in five provinces and have caused damages to residential areas. Agricultural lands and standing crops have also been inundated and damaged as well as the infrastructures. Sri Lanka Metrological department predicts heavy rainfall on 22-25 May and the possibility of continuation of flooding, which may increase the impact and further exacerbate the situation with further reduction of coping capacity of vulnerable households in the affected areas.According to the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) situation report as of 17 May 2021, 43,701people (11,247 families) have been affected across 9 districts, and 5 deaths were reported. In these districts, 16 houses are fully damaged, and 1,453 houses are partially damaged, and 166 facilities of small and medium enterprises have also been damaged. A total of 29 evacuation centres/Safety locations are activated and 377 families (1,658 people) are located in these centres. Eight road embankment failure incidents were reported from Kegalle District which caused two fatalities. The DMC is coordinating the national response efforts.

Water sources of the area have been contaminated due to heavy rain and the overflow of sewerage pits/septic tanks are open to public water facilities. Therefore, DMC reveal that there is a need for drinking water, wells and area cleaning. In addition, households will require support to cover their immediate basic needs as the local employment opportunities have been reduced due to flooding and existing COVID-19 pandemic that is affecting the households’ economic condition as many of the local employment opportunities are in informal sector such as labor work in construction sites, daily wage workers as well as small businesses such as street vendors. Click here to see the map of affected areas.