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State Defence Minister Addresses Impact of Adverse Weather and Announces Preventive Measures

May 25, Colombo (LNW): State Defence Minister Pramith Bandara Tennakoon announced yesterday that six deaths and 11 injuries have been reported due to tree falls and adverse weather conditions since May 19. The weather has affected 34,880 people from 9,616 families across 18 districts.

Minister Tennakoon noted an increase in tree falls and emphasized the need for special focus on the existing risk of falling trees. He called for the support of the Road Development Authority, Provincial, and Local Government authorities to mitigate the high number of tree falls on roads. Speaking at a discussion on the weather-related emergency situation at the Emergency Operation Centre in Colombo, Tennakoon revealed plans to launch a national program, “Surakimu,” as a preventive measure.

The “Surakimu” program will prioritize the safety of students at school premises. Tennakoon also plans to formulate a national policy, guided by a special committee, to address tree planting beside roadsides and to educate the community on this issue.

Additionally, the Minister mentioned that measures will be expedited to control flooding in low-lying areas caused by unsafe and unauthorized constructions. He praised the swift actions taken by the National Disaster Management Centre, State Departments, District Commissioner’s Offices, Divisional Secretariats, Grama Niladhari, Development Officers, Relief Service Centre Officers, and especially the Armed Forces, Police, and Civil Security Department in providing relief to those affected by the disaster.

Officials present at the event included DMC Director General Major General Udaya Herath, Director General of the National Building Research Organisation Asiri Karunawardena, Director General of the Met Department Athula Karunanayake, and Additional Secretary to the DMC Gamage Dharmathilaka.

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