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Sri Lanka: Floods - Final Report (DREF n° MDRLK011)

Sri Lanka
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Description of the disaster

The northeast monsoon and activation of depression in the southeast Bay of Bengal triggered heavy rainfall in Sri Lanka on the first week of December 2020; the northern province of Sri Lanka being the worst affected. Sri Lanka’s Department of Meteorology reported a maximum rainfall up to 279.8 millimetres in the northern province, particularly in Jaffna and Kilinochchi districts. According to DMC situation reports, during this period, two deaths were reported in Jaffna district and the Government of Sri Lanka declared a local level emergency in the Northern Province, hence schools and other institutions in the province were closed. The situation was intensified with the inundation of agricultural lands and standing crops as well as damages to infrastructure. Until 10 December 2020, heavy rainfall continued, which escalated the impact and further reduced the capacity of vulnerable households in the affected areas to cope with the situation.

According to the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) situation report, as of 8 December 2020, 111,659 people (33,316 families were affected across 14 districts. According to the report, 106 houses were fully damaged, and 3,783 houses were partially damaged. A total of 15 evacuation centres were activated and 232 families were sheltered in these centres.

Though 14 districts have been affected to varying degrees, SLRCS covered the two most affected districts of Jaffna and Killinochchi under this operation due to the larger number of people affected and houses damaged.

Summary of response

Overview of Host National Society

With the announcement of warnings from government agencies, SLRCS disseminated weather warnings and put branches on high alert from the outset. At short notice, SLRCS volunteers and first responders provided the necessary support to the affected people in coordination with government authorities. To assist the most vulnerable people affected, branch disaster response teams (BDRT) were deployed in the field to conduct emergency assessments. Based on the operational needs, trained National Disaster Response Teams (NDRT) members were deployed to the worst affected districts of Jaffna and Killinochchi. These trained members assisted the assessments process, relief distributions and planning of Cash-based interventions.
SLRCS took part in the national and district level coordination meetings with the Government of Sri Lanka, DMC and international non-government organizations. SLRCS staff and more than 40 volunteers were deployed to support the relief intervention.