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State Minister Tennakoon educates media on disaster management preparations in place to face prevailing inclement weather related incidents

State Minister of Defence Hon. Premitha Bandara Tennakoon chaired a special media briefing at the Disaster Management Center in Colombo to educate the media on measures put in place to face any bad weather related emergencies, 27th of May 2024.

State Minister Tennakoon stated that a total of 55406 people living in 212 divisional secretariat divisions in 20 districts have been affected by rain and strong winds during the last few days. Seven people are reported to have died due to strong winds caused tree falls. Citing the Metrological Department he said that according to their weather forecasts, the Southwest monsoon will continue till September.

He noted that the Disaster Management Center (DMC), line state agencies including the District and Divisional Secretariats, Grama Niladhari and Development Officers, and especially tri forces, Police and Civil Security Department personnel are on standby to assist and provide relief to affected communities.

In addition, on instructions of the President, a discussion was held chaired by the Senior Adviser on National Security to the President and Chief of the Presidential Staff Mr. Sagala Ratnayake to implement a special program to remove high-risk trees in Colombo.

Accordingly, actions will be taken to remove dangerous trees and branches with the assistance of the Armed Forces, Civil Security Department and the Colombo Municipal Council. Instructions have been given to choose replacements for the trees proposed to be removed, with suitable varieties of trees that wouldn’t cause hindrance to the roadway and people, he said.  Further, arrangements have been made to provide necessary equipment to the National Building Research Organization (NBRO) to carry out scientific tests on the roots of fallen trees at the Viharamahadevi Park in Colombo.

Minister Tennakoon further stated that several potentially dangerous places posing a threat of falling rocks have been identified in the lower Kadugannava area in Kegalle and personnel will be deployed under the supervision of the NBRO to remove dangerous rocks from there with minimal inconvenience to people.

He also mentioned that action is being taken to inform the Ministry of Education, local government bodies, District and Divisional Secretariats about the special national program “Surakimu” to be implemented to ensure the safety of school children.

The Minister also made a special request from the media to disseminate only factually correct information provided by the DMC to the general public.

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