Gale force winds, heavy rain lash Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 26 November 2008, 14:35 GMT]
A 195.5 mm rainfall was recorded from Monday to Tuesday evening alone by the Sri Lanka Meteorological Department in Thirunelveali in Jaffna peninsula. Two feet high sea water has entered Karaiyoor, Paasaiyoor, Kaakkaitheevu and Naavanthu’rai areas along the coast of Jaffna lagoon forcing residents to seek shelter in nearby churches and schools. Electricity supply, transport services and telecommunication have been cutoff due to the collapse of electricity posts, overflowing culverts and trees falling across the roads and electric wires. Jaffna peninsula is plunged in darkness as its people keep indoors unable to face the monsoon torrents that continue to lash for the fourth day, sources in Jaffna said.

Though Jaffna Secretariat sources said that nearly 500 families consisting of 2,500 people have been displaced due to the incessant rain and intermittent hurricanes the number of persons displaced is said to be more than 4,000.

Sri Lanka Transport Service (SLTB) Koa’ndaavil depot tried to run a few buses Tuesday morning but the attempt was suspended as the main streets were blocked by uprooted trees and culverts overflowing, making them impassable.

The SLTB officials said that it would be impossible to resume bus services until the roads are cleared of the obstacles.

Sri Lanka Electricity Board (SLEB) in Chunnaakam has completely cutoff electricity supply to the peninsula as electric posts have fallen and supply wires snapped by falling trees.

Almost all residents of the coastal areas in Vadamaraadchi North and East have been driven from their huts seeking shelter in nearby churches, schools and other public buildings.

Many of their dwellings and the roof on them have been ripped off and cast into the sea by the strong gales accompanying the pouring rain.

The people of Jaffna peninsula may have to face more hardships and suffering should the monsoon rain and storms continue to lash, civil society sources said.



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