KALUTARA, Sri Lanka – More than 500,000 people have been uprooted from their homes after devastating storms, landslides and monsoons hit hard. Almost 120 people are dead and 150 people are missing. The South and Western regions of Sri Lanka were impacted the most, and only 1,000 camping tents are up at the moment for the evacuated.
“The situation is dire,” said acting Disaster Management Minister Dunesh Gankanda, because so many places have been hit. ”In one area alone, there have been 13 landslides. We are struggling to get clear information from these areas to understand the seriousness of the disaster.” – WSJ
The government has released Army rescue teams, including 21 Navy boats, food, water and aid. Volunteers who survived the disaster are working like honey bees to make sure evacuated families receive bedding and rations. Major props to those heroes. Just last year, warnings were put out to evacuate these areas and around 100 people died last year as well. WSJ writes, “The flooding is the worst to hit Sri Lanka since May 2003, when 250 people were killed and 10,000 homes were destroyed.”
Environmentalists are saying the deforestation in Sri Lanka and badly planned out urbanization is worsening the monsoons impact. This will then lead to larger landslides specifically in more areas of the country, more evacuations, and more casualties.