The 2020 Southwest Monsoon is expected to be exceptionally challenging as it will affect Sri Lanka amidst the coronavirus outbreak with which the country has been battling since early March.
In mid May 2020, super cyclone Amphan — predicted to be one of the fiercest storms of the century— created a low pressure area over the Bay of Bengal and is currently moving towards India and Bangladesh. Although the super cyclone has moved away from Sri Lanka for the moment, heavy rains have already impacted the country’s Sabaragamuwa, Western, Southern, Central and North Western provinces.
As a result , flooding was experienced during the pre monsoonal period and properties and lives were affected by landslides. Four deaths have been recorded so far with 2 persons losing lives due to adverse weather conditions in Kegalle district while 2 others — a mother and child-—lost their lives after being buried under an earth embankment in Ratnapura district.
The Department of Meteorology expects the situation to intensify with rainfall over 200mm to impact certain areas. With the Government implementing a 24-hour prior evacuation mechanism to prevent the number of deaths from further increasing, A-PAD SL is on standby to support the emergency situation amidst the pandemic.
Sri Lanka Life Saving and Sri Lanka Police rescue teams have already been deployed in affected areas, especially Ratnapura district while A-PAD is on constant weather watch, ensuring that weather alerts and advocacy material are being circulated among members at all time.