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President orders immediate flood relief for Matara

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe has issued direct instructions to government officials, including the Matara District Secretary, to assess the urgent needs of the flood-affected people in the district, resulting from heavy rainfall. The President has emphasized the necessity of swiftly implementing relief measures.

The President’s directives also encompass the provision of vital facilities such as cooked meals and medication to those affected, along with the engagement of the armed forces to ensure the efficient delivery of aid.

Additionally, the President has alerted relevant agencies to formulate contingency plans for the safety and well-being of the populace in the event of the worsening of the flood situation.

In the interim, President Wickremesinghe has issued directives to relevant Government departments to remain vigilant regarding potential disaster situations that may arise in other districts due to adverse weather conditions.

A total of 9,448 individuals from 2,350 families across 16 Divisional Secretariat Divisions in the Matara district have been impacted by various calamities including floods, strong winds, landslides, heavy rains, rock falls and tree falls. Among these, 399 houses have sustained partial damage, with 37 other properties affected.

Community food processing centres have been established in Malambada, Akurassa, Kamburupitiya and Thihagoda to provide meals for those in need.

Currently, 25,553 individuals from 6,967 families are stranded due to the floods and the Army is actively engaged in providing them with cooked food.

Simultaneously, the Sri Lankan Army has initiated a specialized relief programme for the residents of the Malimbada Divisional Secretariat Division within the Matara district, which has been severely affected by the flooding.

Under the leadership of Major General Janaka Ranasinghe, Commander of the 61st Infantry Division, and Colonel Roshan Kannangara, Commander of the Matara Area, two Army battalions have been actively engaged in relief efforts.

A total of six dinghies and three motor boats have been deployed to provide assistance to affected individuals, while special Military vehicles are on standby for potential emergency rescue operations.

For reporting emergency situations and related information in the Matara district, individuals are urged to contact Major General Janaka Ranasinghe on 0766907042 and Colonel Roshan Kannangara on 0766907146.

Concurrently, a high-level discussion addressing the state of emergency in the Matara district and outlining forthcoming relief measures was convened on Wednesday (4) at the Matara District Secretariat following President Wickremesinghe’s directives. The meeting was presided over by Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera and included the participation of Southern Province Governor Willy Gamage, Member of Parliament Karuna Kodithuwakku, District Secretary Y. Wickramasiri, Governor’s Secretary, Additional District Secretaries, all Divisional Secretaries of the Matara district and representatives from law enforcement, the armed forces and various Government departments.

The discussion extensively covered immediate relief measures for affected individuals and strategies for the post-flood recovery process.

It was agreed that daily disaster management meetings would be held, uniting Divisional Secretariats and Pradeshiya Sabhas to coordinate efforts. Additionally, decisions taken during these meetings will be conveyed to the District Disaster Committees through Zoom technology on a daily basis.

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