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Flood relief: Stern action against public officials who failed in duty

Flood relief: Stern action against public officials who failed in duty

2012 Dec 21

Disna Mudalige
The Disaster Management Ministry will provide a report to the Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry on public officials who have neglected their duties during the latest disaster situation which occurred as a result of the inclement weather', Minister Mahindananda Amaraweera said. 

Addressing the media during the Cabinet press briefing at the Mass Media and Information Ministry auditorium yesterday, the minister said the Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister had agreed to take action against public officials who neglected or failed to perform their duties affecting the coordination and monitoring process of relief measures to affected people.

He said he received complaints that there had been affected areas to which no public official had visited. He requested public servants at village level to volunteer their service with a sense of feeling for the community and carrying out relief measures efficiently. He also requested government and opposition MPs and Ministers to actively support this endeavour.

He said the government had disbursed sufficient funds to District Secretariats to provide necessary relief measures adding that the Ministry is ready to disburse more money as the need arises without any delay. He said the Treasury has also agreed to disburse money if necessary. He said the President had instructed that adequate relief be provided all affected individuals affected by the inclement weather.

He said 25 deaths had been reported islandwide due to floods, while another 13 people were missing and 36 injured. According to the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) situation report released yesterday, 267,325 people belonging to 69,133 families had been affected due to bad weather, while 18,845 people belonging to 5,281 families among them had been provided shelter at 102 Evacuation centres. About 358 houses had been fully damaged while 1935 houses had been partially damaged.

Flash floods had been experienced in the Kurunegala, Polonnaruwa, Ampara, Batticoloa, Chillaw and Hambantota districts and in several other parts of the country. Rescue missions in areas affected by inclement weather are continuing with the support of the Tri Forces and Police. The minister said certain areas are still inaccessible due to flood waters, adding that cooked food has been distributed in affected areas by boat. Landslides and earth slips had been reported from the Matale, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy and Badulla districts.

Refuting rumours that the recent disaster signals doom's day, the minister said the rumours have no truth or scientific fact. He said most of the reservoirs had already been filled and the soil had no capacity to retain more water due to heavy rains experienced in the country in October and November, putting an end to the severe drought. He said this was the main reason for the flash floods to occur over many parts of the country. He said some of these areas had experienced heavy rainfall between 250mm to 300 mm per day.

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