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Thursday, January 13, 2011 - 05.23 GMT

India to dispatch flood relief


The Indian government will dispatch relief material for the flood-affected people in Sri Lanka and the first consignment will be sent on Friday, the Indian Defence Ministry officials said.

Twenty-five tonnes of relief material, including food, drinking water, sleeping mats, blankets, bed sheets will be sent to Colombo by Friday afternoon, quoting the Defence Ministry officials, the Hindu reported.

Indian Air Force transport aircraft, IL76, will carry them in two sorties, with the second scheduled to leave on January 17, the official said.

Besides ready-to-eat meals, the supplies will also include sugar, pulses, milk powder, baby milk formula, salt and other essential seasoning powders and water purifying tablets.

Inundated roads and continuing heavy rains have hindered the United Nations agencies from assessing the flood damages in Sri Lanka, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Wednesday (12).

The OCHA said rapid assessments are underway to determine the extent and location of damages while interagency missions led by Disaster Management Center (DMC) and include representatives from various UN agencies and local authorities will identify immediate relief needs.

However, the UN agency said the missions continue to experience constraints due to poor access on flood-affected roads.

The agency said preliminary findings stress the need for non-food items, dry rations, and drinking water for the flood-displaced.

The government has deployed its security forces to conduct relief operations in the floods-ravaged North Central and Eastern provinces.

The government said it has deployed more than 28,000 personnel of the three forces and police in all affected districts with boats and helicopters at their disposals.

The Sri Lanka Army has utilized four helicopters to transport cooked meals from Ratmalana Air Port to the flood victims. By Wednesday the troops have delivered over 7,000 kg of dry rations and another 6,000 kg of essential items among the flood-affected in the East.

The Army said its troops are taking care of over 350,000 displaced people in the East, belonging to some 90,144 families with the support of other agencies.

Troops have been involved in clearing debris and fallen trees and rescuing people marooned by the floods.

Sri Lanka Navy has also deployed Naval Boats where the roads are submerged to transport cooked meals to the IDP camps from respective divisional secretariats.

The Air Force continued its operations using its MI-17 helicopters to air lift consignments of dry rations to the flood-hit areas.

The Sir Force said the operations which began yesterday from SLAF China Bay airlifted 5200 kilograms worth of dry rations including dhal, sugar, rice, milk powder to Somawathiya area in the Polonnaruwa District. Another consignment of 2,800 kilograms of wheat flour was airlifted to Somawathiya this morning from Hingurakkgoda.

Temperature in country was going down further this evening with minimum temperature in Nuwara Eliya going down to just 8 degrees. Minimum temperature in Kandy was expected to go down to 16.3 degrees.

Temperature in Jaffna was down to 21.6 degrees while Colombo recorded a minimum temperature of 20.4 degrees according to Department of Meteorology. The usual average minimum temperature in Colombo ranges between 30 to 22 degrees

These were seen as unusually low as the average minimum temperature in Nuwara Eliya usually records 18 degrees while the average minimum temperature in Kandy is usually 18.4 degrees.

Met Department said the main cause was the extensive cloud cover that is currently over Sri Lanka while the cold wave in India might have an effect in the Northern part of the country.

Meanwhile, the government yesterday said an approval from the National Building Research Organization (NBRO) has been made compulsory for building houses in landslide prone areas in the country.

According to Head of the NBRO’s Building Material Section HMS Bandara, a circular comprising the list of landslide prone areas in each Divisional Secretariat division would be issued to the relevant Local Government institutions within a few days and construction in these areas cannot commence without a report from the NBRO.

He said that these areas were identified by the NBRO in 10 districts which were categorized as landslide prone districts by the NBRO earlier.






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Last modified: January 13, 2011.

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