Search

 

Cablegate: Sri Lanka Northern Districts Floods Disaster

O 010317Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8997
AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY BANGKOK PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY
USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY
INFO NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI//J3/J332/J52//
CDRUSARPAC FT SHAFTER HI//APCW/APOP//

UNCLAS COLOMBO 001082
BT
AIDAC

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/INS AND PRM
STATE ALSO PASS TO USAID
STATE FOR MPITOTTI
AID/W FOR ANE/SA
AID/W FOR DCHA/FFP
AID/W FOR DCHA/OFDA KLUU, ACONVERY, RTHAYER,
BANGKOK FOR USAID/DCHA/OFDA WBERGER AND TROGERS
KATHMANDU FOR USAID/DCHA/OFDA MROGERS
USMISSION GENEVA FOR NKYLOH

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PREF CE
SUBJECT: Sri Lanka Northern Districts Floods Disaster
Declaration

-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. The week of November 24, 2008, heavy rains pelted
northern and eastern districts of Sri Lanka affecting
more than 240,000 people. These heavy rains, caused by
a cyclonic weather system, further aggravated the
already challenging humanitarian situation in these
same districts into a crisis affecting six districts in
the North and East. The head of the Sri Lankan
Disaster Management Center (DMC) has specifically
requested US emergency assistance. As a result of this
request and due to the crisis conditions faced by this
population, the U.S. Ambassador hereby declares a
natural disaster in the Northern districts of Sri
Lanka. I have determined that the damage caused by the
floods in these areas is of sufficient magnitude to
warrant external assistance, that the GSL would welcome
USG assistance, and that it is in the USG interest to
provide assistance to the disaster victims. The US
Embassy and USAID Sri Lanka consulted the Office of
Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) Senior Regional
Advisor, who concurred with our initial assessment of
needs and appropriateness of USG assistance. If
additional resources are required, the Embassy will
again consult with OFDA for advice. At this point, I am
exercising my authority for $ 50,000 emergency and as a
result of consultations with OFDA I am requesting an
additional $ 50,000 for a total of $ 100,000 for Sri
Lanka. End summary.

-----------------------------
Flood Situation in the North
-----------------------------

2. Extensive flooding in the northern and eastern
districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar
Vavuniya and Trincomalee has severely affected the IDPs
and conflict-affected people in these six districts. In
Jaffna district alone, reports indicate that 118,273
people (32,026 families) have been affected and 36,116
individuals (9,984 families) are displaced to 135
camps. In Mannar district 23,104 people (5,136
families) have been affected in 32 villages by floods,
while 7,256 people are affected in Trincomalee
district. It is difficult to obtain the exact figures
in the Vanni region, where government security forces
and the LTTE are engaged in ongoing hostilities and
humanitarian agencies have very limited access.
According to Disaster Management Center (DMC) and UN
estimates, around 21,200 families are affected and
2,036 families have been displaced by the flooding.
Further, about 84,000 people have been affected in
Mullaitivu district. OCHA predicts that there are at
least 24,000 families most vulnerable and in need
immediate assistance of shelter, sanitation facilities
and clean drinking water in the Vanni.

3. Currently, there are no official figures for the
number of deaths caused by flooding, but in Jaffna
district alone it has been reported that there are
1,941 houses fully damaged and 5,104 partially damaged.
Property damage in the Vanni is still being assessed by
the DMC but reports indicate approximately 1,000
permanent houses and 6,000 temporary shelters fully
damaged, worsening the humanitarian condition of the
IDPs trapped in Vanni. DMC reports state that 163 km of
roads have been flooded, damaged or washed off with
most roads currently impassable. Electricity supply has
been cut off and schools have been closed down until
further notice in many affected areas.

4. Although there are sufficient stocks of relief
supplies in Jaffna which can cover the needs of
displaced people for 2-3 days, the government agent in
Jaffna has requested outside assistance from the UN and
humanitarian agencies until the emergency situation
recedes. Further, DMC has requested the assistance of
the UN as this is beyond the capacity of the Sri Lankan
government to provide assistance to the flood victims.
DMC is coordinating with the military and government to
get the necessary clearance to transport relief items
which goes to Wanni in order to make the process
faster.

5. In light of the above, I hereby declare a disaster
in relation to the current floods in Northern districts
of Sri Lanka. I have determined that the damage caused
by the floods in these areas is of sufficient magnitude
to warrant external assistance, and that the GSL would
welcome USG assistance; and that it is in USG interest
to provide assistance to the disaster victims.

6. At this point, I am exercising my authority for $
50,000 emergency and as a result of consultations with
OFDA I am requesting an additional $ 50,000 for a total
of $ 100,000 to provide relief to those affected by the
floods. This money will be used for provision of
shelter, sanitation facilities and other NFRIs to flood
victims. We are planning to support UN agencies
depending on the ground needs to provide disaster
related assistance to affected people.

BLAKE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: