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Major floods in Sri Lanka are associated with the two monsoons. Typically, during the Southwest monsoon season (May-September) the western, southern and Sabaragamuwa provinces are vulnerable to floods. During the Northeast monsoon (December-February) the eastern, northern and north-central provinces are prone to flooding. Rivers along the western slopes of the hilly central areas cause floods in the lower flood plains of Kalu Ganga and Kelani Ganga in particular during these periods.

The agency mandated to issue warnings in the case of floods is the Irrigation Department. For details on flood situations, please contact –
Director General, Irrigation Department (Tel.
Deputy Director (Hydrology), Irrigation Department (Tel.

For overall disaster situation, contact –
Emergency Operation Centre, Disaster Management Centre (Tel.
What you should know about floods

Before a flood
§ Avoid building in a flood prone area unless you elevate your home.

During a flood
* Listen to the radio or television for latest information.
* Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
* Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without warnings.

If you must prepare to evacuate, you should do the following:
* Secure your home. Move essential items to an upper floor or to a higher level.
* Turn off utilities at the main switches. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.

If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips:
* Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
* Do not drive into flooded areas. If flood waters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. The following are important points to remember when driving in flood conditions:
* Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling. § A foot of water will float many vehicles. § Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including pick-ups.


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