2ND LEAD (Adds link to BBC video)

Batticaloa flood victims need urgent help - MP

[TamilNet, Sunday, 23 December 2007, 19:49 GMT]
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian for Batticaloa District. S. Jeyananthamoorthy, appealed to the Batticaloa Aditional Government Agent, K Maheshan, to immediately take all necessary steps to provide relief assistance to the flood victims in the Batticaloa district. Continued torrential rain is falling in Batticaloa, Amparai and Polannaruwa districts for more than 24 hours, and most of the low lying areas in Batticaloa have become submerged resulting in a large number of civilians becoming displaced from their residences, sources in the region said.

Mr. Jeyananthamoorthy has also contacted Abdul Risath Bathiyutheen, the Sri Lankan minister of resettlement and disaster relief services, and pointed out that the five lakhs of Rupees ear-marked for relief in the area is inadequate, and called for immediate release of additional funds.

The TNA MP also has requested Mr. Risath Bathiyutheen to provide cooked food and also supply essential items needed by the displaced civilians.

Meanwhile, according to the officials of Batticaloa Meteorological department, 17.4mm rain fall has been recorded within the 24 hour period ending Saturday 8:30 a.m.

Heavy rain has also caused severe flooding in the low lying areas in the vicinity of Batticaloa lagoon and with the aid of drainage canals flood water is being diverted through Batticaloa lagoon into the Bay of Bengal.

However, the large irrigation tanks in Navakkiri, Unnichchai, Vaakaneari has not yet filled up, an official from Batticaloa Regional Irrigation Department said.

Due to heavy flooding of Chanthanamadu River, 1 349 families from the areas under the administration of Chengkaladi District Secretary (DS) have become displaced and are being temporarily provided accommodation four welfare centers.

Meanwhile, a house located in Paavatkodicheanai village, Vavunatheevu DS Division in Paduvaankarai area collapsed injuring three members of the same family. The injured, S.Sivalingam, 50, his wife S.Navamanithevy, 46, their son S.C.Santhan, 16, have been admitted to Thaandiyadi hospital, Vavu'natheevu DS K.Vimalanathan said.

Chava'lakkadai - Kiddangki Road and Mandoor - Vellaave'li Road have become completely submerged under flood water. Moongkil River, Kiraddinai River, Naathanai River are overflowing and it is feared that the raging water may flood the nearby villages, sources said.

A number of Tsunami affected areas including New Kaththaankudi, Rizvi Town, Ka'luvaagnchikkudi, Ka'luthaava'lai, Dharga Town and Firdoos Town have once again been severely affected and become submerged. The civilians from these areas have abandoned their homes and sought temporary refuge in the homes of their relatives in safer areas.

Amidst the heavy rain fall and district wide flooding, fearing the intrusion of Liberation tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadres, security has been beefed up throughout Batticaloa. A large number of Special Task Force (STF) troopers and police personnel have been deployed in Batticaloa city, Kaaththaankudi as well as in Kalmunai.

All vehicles plying in these areas are stopped by the Sri Lankan armed forces and the occupants are being subjected to intense search. Rain coat clad heavily armed troops and police stationed at various strategic locations are also searching the bags and packages of pedestrians closely scrutinizing the national identity cards.

The heavy rain falling during the past days has also affected a number of villages such as Rameshpuram, Kommaathu’rai, Orumuzhachcholai, Vanthaaroomoolai, Ka’luvankea’ni, Maavadiveampu, Chiththaandi, Uthayanmoolai and Vinayagar village in Chengkaladi DS division

A number of villages within Kiraan DS division including Mu’rakkeddaagncheanai, Theavapuram, Kiraan, Cheddiyaar kudiyirippu, and Chinnaveampu have been ravaged by the flood in the region.

The villages of Changkaankea'ni, Ka'n'nakipuram, Puthukkudiyirippu within Vaazhaichcheanai DS division as well as places such as Ve'l'laiyadimadu, Kaayankea'ni, Vaddavaan, Ka'ndaladi, Paalcheanai and Kugnchanku'lam in Vaakarai DS division and many other low-lying villages have also become submerged under flood water affecting hundreds of families.

Jeyananthamoorthy MP has also contacted a number of Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the district and appealed them to provide assistance to the flood-affected civilians.

External Links:
BBC: Flash flooding hits Sri Lanka


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