Hundred thousand displaced by floods
[TamilNet, Monday, 20 November 2000, 19:04 GMT]
Nearly one hundred thousand people have been rendered homeless as heavy rains continue to lash in the eastern Sri Lanka, government officials in Batticaloa said Monday. Many roads are submerged in floods in Batticaloa, Ampara and Polonnaruwa Districts and several rivers have swollen with floods, officials said. Two people have been reported killed in the floods.
Government Agent of Batticaloa called all the 12 Divisional Secretaries, officials from the Health Department and Department of Social Services for a meeting at Kachcheri Monday morning to assess the situation. He said flood victims will be given cooked meals for the next two days.
Local officials said many remote villages are still inaccessible and details of damages from these areas are not yet known.
In Batticaloa town, the main bus terminal is submerged in floods and a large number of people are moving towards the town area by small boats from the suburbs of Puthur, Sethukudah and Thimilaithivu.
Floods have also completely inundated Batticaloa-Colombo road at Sathurukondan, Sithaandy and Pillaiyaradi, and traffic has come to a halt. According to Highway department water level is measured above 3 feet on several main roads.
Officials said Vaakarai, Chenkalady and Maamunai west divisions are badly affected by floods. Hundreds of villagers from these areas are being evacuated by volunteers in small boats. Sources in Valaichenai said several villagers of Kinnaiady were evacuated by Red Cross volunteers in boats and are being housed at Sungaankerni.
Traffic between LTTE held Paduvankarai region and the Batticaloa has also come to a halt as heavy rains completely inundated Valaiyiravu causeway.
Water level in Batticaloa lagoon has also risen and nearby roads are submerged in floods. Several houses along the lagoon have also been flooded.