Roads across the country, including in Colombo turned into rivers, leaving many killed, scores missing and thousands displaced, from landslides and floods following torrential rains across Sri Lanka.
The most fatal disaster was reported from Aranayake in the Central province after a landslide wiped out three villages on Wednesday, which according to unconfirmed reports may have killed at least 150, but rescue operations continued. In Wellampitiya and nearby areas, houses were submerged in water, as water levels in the dense residential area, rose as high as seven feet, owing to rising water levels from the Kelaniya river.
By late evening Wednesday, the Disaster Management Centre said that at least 37 people were confirmed dead, over 21 missing, 352,300 affected by the flood, while at least 223,680 were displaced.
Authorities disconnected electricity across Wellampitiya and Kolonnawa as a precautionary measure, however there were many complaints that the government had not being able to provide adequate assistance to rescue trapped people in flood areas, amidst reports that the Navy had used only five boats for rescue operations in and around Wellampitiya, which was not sufficient.
The Government announced that it had set aside Rs. 150 million for flood relief, while President Maithripala Sirisena urged people to make a complaint by calling the Presidential Hotline 1919 in the event a government official had not visited any of the disaster hit areas.
Trapped people from Wellampitiya turned to social media, crying for help and to be rescued, amidst allegations that despite making calls to government run disaster management centres, no help had come their way. Private organisations used boats owned privately to carry out rescue operations, in an effort to reach a larger number of civilians as the Navy had only a limited number of boats, and didn’t have the capability of reaching a larger number of people who needed rescue.