Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Extreme weather could follow Sri Lankan floods

Amantha Perera in IPS: Weather experts warned Sri Lankan to be prepared for extreme weather changes with hardly any notice following devastating floods here that have affected over one million people. "Global weather patterns are changing, we should be prepared for extreme changes," Gunavi Samarasinghe, the head of Meteorological Department, said as the country battled floods in the east as temperatures island-wide dropped to sixty year lows.

The drop in temperature was caused by the cloud cover over the island, Samarasinghe said. Colombo registered a temperature of 18.8C, while the central Nuwera Eliya highlands fell to a single digit - 7C. Samarasinghe said that the island was facing the La Nina phenomenon during which temperatures near the Equator have dropped by as much as 5C. "We better be ready to face any kind of weather," he said.

According to reports on Jan. 14, the two-plus weeks of flooding had killed 27 and left 12 missing. The Disaster Management Centre, the government body coordinating the flood relief effort said that over 18,000 houses, 200 small and large reservoirs and parts of 152 major and minor roads were in need of repair after the floods.

Samarasinghe’s assessment that extreme weather patterns were becoming common is substantiated by the growing frequency of flash flooding on the island….

Lake at Kotomale, Sri Lanka, shot by Anuradha Ratnaweera, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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