There was a risk of breaking the stone embankment which was built under the project ‘Nilwala’ in the Matara Atthudawa area to prevent floods in the city of Matara, due to the bad weather conditions affecting the island. Therefore a constant operation was launched with the participation of more than 100 soldiers from the 61st Brigade of the Sri Lanka Army yesterday (Oct 06) from last night until this morning, to fortify the embankment.
More than 2500 families are currently displaced in the Matara district in the areas of Malimbada, Akurassa, Kamburupitiya, Thihagoda, Atthuduwa, Matara Fort and Gal Bamma and the Sri Lanka Army, Navy and disaster relief teams are working to provide immediate assistance to them under the supervision of Army Commander.
The Sri Lanka Army has established four food processing centres at Malimbada, Akurassa, Thihagoda and Matara Fort to provide food and water to the displaced people, which has been the main challenge in the disaster relief process and Army WMZ armoured vehicles, Unicorn APCs and heavy vehicles are being used to distribute food and drink to people in flooded areas.
In the meantime, Sri Lanka Army medical teams have been prepared to provide necessary support to every regional secretariat with disaster risk in Galle, Matara and Kalutara districts and 2 army battalions of over 500 soldiers have been assigned to Matara and Galle districts.
Additional 58 Division and Gemunu watch have been prepared for disaster relief operations in Kalutara district and 3 WMZ vehicles and 6 motor boats belonging to the Sri Lanka Army have been prepared for deployment when necessary.
Also arrangements have been made to call the diving teams of the Sri Lanka Army Special Forces and Commandos for the operations at a short notice.
Residents along other rivers in the southern province including the rivers such as Kalu, Nilwala and Ging are informed to be aware of flash floods or flood situations.
Under the leadership of the 61st Brigade of the Sri Lanka Army, disaster relief operations will be launched in conjunction with the Regional Secretariat Divisions of the Southern Province and other responsible government agencies, and if necessary, the soldiers of the 58th Brigade have also been prepared for deployment. Also, naval troops and boats as well as air force troops have been prepared for deployment if necessary.
His Excellency the President Ranil Wickramasinghe, the Presidential Adviser on National Security, Hon. Sagala Rathnayake, the State Minister of Defence the Hon. Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon, Secretary to the President Mr. Saman Ekanayake, Defence Secretary General Kamal Gunaratne along with the Chief of the Defence Staff General Shavendra Silva regularly render necessary instructions to the Army Commanders and the heads of the local government bodies. These relief planning activities are ongoing under their full supervision.