View Flood-affected regions in February 2011 – Sri Lanka in a larger map

The map above identifies the main flood-affected regions, sites where relief and rescue operations have been conducted and specific DS divisions where IDP camps have been setup. Please click on the link below the map to view it on a larger screen. You may click on individual markers for detailed information and zoom in to view the location of specific shelter camps located in the east. 

Please note that this map is continuously updated as soon as the Editors of Groundviews receive detailed information and reports from the ground.

Between the 11th and the 18th of January, heavy rainfall led to severe floods and widespread destruction in several provinces across the island that affected over 1 million people. 43 people were killed and over 300,000 were displaced. The districts of Ampara, Trincomalee, Polonnaruwa, Batticaloa and Anuradhapura were severely affected in January and at present with heavy rainfall once again causing severe flooding, these districts have been the worst affected. The problem has been compounded by the fact that several tanks in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa have been inundated and as a result the spill gates have been opened. This has exacerbated the flooding of surrounding villages. Several minor irrigation tanks have been breached as well according to the Daily Mirror,

During the previous floods in early January, 408 minor tanks, 308 anicuts and 760 irrigation canals were damaged.

Agrarian Services Director General Ravindra Hevavitarana told Daily Mirror that three more tanks had been breached this time in the Batticaloa District and another three in the Trincomalee District. Besides, Mr. Hevavitarana said that the water level had risen in at least 50 other minor tanks placing them at the risk of being breached.

“If the rainy weather continues, they will be damaged. The situation is serious,” he said.

Numerous IDP camps have been setup to provide temporary shelter and relief to over 80,000 IDPs.

The Daily Mirror notes the following in a news report:

The flood situation in the country reached dangerous levels with the number of affected families increasing by over 100,000 within hours, bringing the total of affected families to 230,000, causing six deaths, official (sic.) said.

The number affected stood at 100,000 late Thursday evening. Bad weather took its toll in 17 districts while it was reported that those affected were kept in 322 camps.

Spill gates were opened in all tanks in the Anurdhapura, Polonnaruwa, Batticaloa, Ampara, Vavuniya and Trincomalee Districts as almost all the tanks reached spill levels.

Director General Department of Irrigation G. G. Godaliyadha said that the Anurahapura and Polonnaruwa Districts posed the most danger as gushing waters of Nachchiduwa, Padaviya and Rajangana  and several other tanks inundated all low lands in Anuradhapura while many areas in Polonnaruwa was also submerged. Medirigriya area was also submerged as the gates of Kavudulla tanks were opened.

The Navy and Air Force have been deployed to deliver flood relief and conducted rescue operations. According to news reports on 4/2/2011, 20 people have been rescued so far by the Air Force. News reports that quote the DMC also indicate that six people have been killed.

Another Daily Mirror news report notes the extent of destruction to paddy lands in various districts:

Meanwhile, 125,000 acres of paddy land had been inundated in the Ampara District, 50,000 acres in Anuradhapura, 28,000 acres in Batticaloa, 16,000 in Polonnaruwa, 10,000 acres in Vavuniya, 7200 acres in Mullaitivu and 50,000 acres in Trincomalee.

Mr. Hevavitarana said paddy of some of these lands which were flooded last time, were salvaged after the water level subsided.

“They have again been flooded.  In the districts like Batticaloa and Ampara, some paddy lands which were not affected last time have been submerged this time,” he said.

Last time, altogether 200,000 paddy acres were totally destroyed.

The DMC have released their situation report for Friday (04/02/2011).

Please view the map and watch this space for further updates.