Around 200 missing in the Aranayake and Bulathkohupitiya , 22 dead bodies found, more than 100 injured, more than 10,000 people are victims of climate disaster.
Whilst many, caught in to an earth slip which took place on the 17th of May, 2016 about 10.30 pm one in the Elangepitiya of Aranayake D.S. Division of Kegalle District, Sabragamuwa Province, Sri Lanka over 220 children, women and men are missing. It is feared that most of them are dead. 17 dead bodies were taken out and 80 were injured. Rescue operations are carried out by army men engaged towards finding if anybody is surviving. The entire Aranayake has submerged in to mounds of earth due to the earth slip.
It is reported that this disaster occurred on 17th night. A huge portion of the Centre of the hill which slided following a crack on the top has consumed all 3 village. The slided earth covers an area of over a KM. And the houses of the villages have got completely buried in to it. While many escaped running to safe areas, it is reported that over 220 are missing, sunk in to the earth. About 80 injured and not injured were saved by the rescue party. However the rescue and saving operation have been hindered by darkness and continuing rains with the risk of further earth slip.
In the meantime Bulathkohupitiya, Kalupahana Estate (Tea Estate) of Kegalle District, 5 people dead and 16 people including 5 men 10 women and an infant had gone missing and at-least 100 people were displaced due to a land slide which took place on 17th May 2016 at Kalupana Estate in Bulathkohupitiya. Six Line Houses have been razed to the ground. While 28 others were damaged. The families in the area were evacuated and provided temporary shelter at the Government School.
Several buildings including 3 sets of line rooms, more than 200 houses, temple, shops are reported to have sunk in to the earth. Around 100 acres of land in the area have been affected due to the earth slip with no trace of any building of living being.
With 22 dead bodies already taken out, the operation continues. Aranayake and Bulathkohupitiya areas are in a mourning mood due to the lives lost to the earth slip. According to the eye witnesses, the houses disappeared in a matter of seconds and some houses are 50 feet under earth. The disaster has put the parents losing children, children losing parents and husband or wife losing the spouse in grief.
Affected around 300 families have been evacuated from areas prone to landslides had been housed at 6 Welfare Centers located at Government Schools in Aranayake. At present around 1300 children, women and men are camped in above Welfare Centers. According to field sources, around 10,000 people are affected and evacuated in Kegalle and Kandy districts.
According to the Disaster Management Centre (DMC), 352,374 people belonging to 82,924 families were affected by the adverse weather conditions island wide. Many number of people including children and women injured. Meanwhile the DMC said 223,689 people of 48,998 families were relocated in 376 safe places.
Relief activities have been started. Many well-wishers, and government authorities involve in relief actions. Victims are complaining that they were not received proper guidance and alternative temporary shelters from the government authorities in some areas.
HDO Team today (19 May 2016) met Deputy Government Agent of Kegalle District, Divisional Secretary of Aranayake and the NGO Coordinator Kegalle District, Divisional Secretariat officers of Bulathkohupitiya, & Divisional Secretary Deltota, Kandy District and discussed with them on the government intervention on rescue activities and relief work. They also discussed about NGO-GO collaboration in relief work. HDO Team visited affected areas and Camps, discussed issues with the affected people. HDO is in the process of developing a relief and rehabilitation intervention program