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Sri Lanka FLOODS 2017

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Sri Lanka FLOODS 2017

Post by slstock on Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:24 pm

It's heart breaking to see the INNOCENT ALWAYS GET BATTERED YEAR AFTER YEAR , while the others who can do sometime does nothing to fix the issues for LONG TERM  .

Yes general Sri Lankan public  uniting together to help the fellow people in trouble was enriching to see. That great. Sinhalese, Tamil or Muslim doesn't matter . Flood treat all of them the same Wink


But putting plasters and giving temporary help is only a temporary solution until it happens next year again!!!
LONG TERM what the solution?



We only put plasters everytime when there is flood and yell help from international community. Shame.  Where there no floods during King Mahasen's time and during Sudda days ?


Why does whole towns ( let leave  out stations places ) get flooded after rains of only 2-3 days? Why does land slides more prominent now?
What did we do to make it worse?

THINK ABOUT IT? WHAT ARE THE ISSUES AND WHERE ARE WE GOING WRONG?


ps: Was also personally busy with what I can do to promote the gravity of Floods  and educate the masses via other mediums  ( so even outsiders may see and help our poor innocent victims ).

But this will never end . Next year it will come.  

Btw some other countries have floods too. Not only Sri lanka.
Sri Lanka is blessed better in many way by Mother nature.
But in some countries when floods happen , damage is lesser and is managed better Wink


PS :


1) Btw people rethink about certain plantation shares and insurance companies for short term over flood effect.
Take it as a shorter term warning.


2) I just heard SPW19721 house was 5 feet under water?
Who else is affected in this forum or elsewhere?

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Re: Sri Lanka FLOODS 2017

Post by කිත්සිරි ද සිල්වා on Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:34 pm

Food for thought.

(Unless we as a nation is willing to change our thinking patterns, this will be the case for years to come. Preference for individual houses than for big high risers. Instead of wood, use of alternative materials for roofing, furniture etc to mention a few).
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Re: Sri Lanka FLOODS 2017

Post by The Alchemist on Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:55 pm

A few people have been blaming the current flooding in southwest Sri Lanka on illicit tree felling. That is really the least of the problems.
I think the real problems are climate change and the destruction of the water-retention capability of Sri Lankan hillsides by 180 years of intensive plantation agriculture. The combination creates landslides as well as floods.
Our country depends a lot on hydropower, but the dams that help generate it were built in the pre-climate-change era and can't cope with the rainfall we have today. Dams are tricky; keep the sluice-gates open too long and downstream areas will flood; keep them shut too long and upstream areas will, and the dam, too, may breach.
I’m not sure how much illicit logging goes on in the hill country but gem
mining, some of it illegal, has also undermined hillsides, causing them to collapse when it rains hard. Our present troubles are the consequences of decades of ecological abuse.
It appears that the onset of the southwest monsoon is now much heavier than it used to be. We have to build the infrastructure to cope with it. But while governments spend huge sums on notionally profitable infrastructure (including ports and airports nobody needs) there's no money in storm drains, canal dredging, barrier walls and suchlike.
And so the river valleys of the southwest, which capture most of the runoff from the SW monsoon, will continue to flood every year. Not coincidentally, they are the most densely populated parts of our country

However if i may add , mass scale felling of "Valla patta" or "Agarwood" and other timber trees on the "Morowak Kande" (part of Singharaja forest) hill caused an earth slip destroying several houses along with 22 lives so far and brought down with it the main water tank providing water to the Morawaka area. The slip has altered the course/ wiped out of some of the tributaries of the Nilwala river as well. Encroachment which brings along with it sand mining, felling ,mono croping etc,is contributing significantly to issues of this nature.

As people move into flood plains bc of urbanization ffloods will occur absent proper infrastructure. These rains wud have been welcomed in the past bc they flooded the paddy fields--which are essentially controlled floods except their is nothing to damage. Climate change is supposed to drastically change monsoon patterns but not necessarily how much it rains. We should welcome the rain but prepare with proper infrastructure. The Dutch have mastered this!

a permit was issued last year to fell 1800 plus jak trees, just in one region. This is just a pin drop in the amount of felling that has and continue to go on, with or without permits. Undoubtedly, climate change is really causing harrowing changes to weather patterns, but, the felling of trees, the sand mining, the gem mining, the failing hydro projects, the filling of marshland, the lack or attention to repair or redo the storm drains, and of course the fantastically ill equipped ministers in charge, all add up to cause these disastrous situations. And so the caravan keeps rolling on.


source - unknown (not mine)

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Re: Sri Lanka FLOODS 2017

Post by The Alchemist on Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:10 pm

Disaster Management Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa says the Department of Meteorology must be closed down if the public do not have faith in its weather predictions".
Herein lies the fundamental issue. This is a classic case of barking up the wrong tree. The problem isn't really 'predicting the weather'. The real challenge is managing the water. Unless we are able to manage OR ideally, harvest, large amounts of water that rain down on the Central Hills, we stand to continue to face the same disaster every year. Let's say we can predict a massive storm; the most we can do is evacuate people. We can do that using accuweather, today. But what can a Doppler Radar Unit do to prevent flooding? Nothing. We need seasoned local and international experts studying this problem followed by swift action taken by a government intent on providing a lasting solution and not playing the blame game, for political expediency.

source - unknown

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Re: Sri Lanka FLOODS 2017

Post by කිත්සිරි ද සිල්වා on Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:17 pm

Watching the amount of water flaws without being put to good use even after a small rain, I was thinking what can we do to retain this precious thing put to multiple use later.
I think we got to learn from Singapore.
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Re: Sri Lanka FLOODS 2017

Post by Expert on Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:45 pm

What am I to say?
It is all our fault.
You all are telling valid things.
I heard much about environment unfriendly development. Especially large scale, primarily the southern expressway. They could have learnt from the new Galle Road built between Moratuwa and Panadura; about what happens when flow of rain water to sea is blocked.
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Re: Sri Lanka FLOODS 2017

Post by Ethical Trader on Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:22 pm

Thanks SLS for bringing up this vital issue. Thanks to all others who contributed. The reasons for recent flood mentioned here have some connection to recent flooding in Sri Lanka but I see this as a global issue not totally local.

Sri Lanka is blessed with South Western monsoon, North Eastern monsoon & inter monsoonal rains. Among them, South Western monsoon travels through Sri Lanka towards North East Asia and the North Eastern monsoon travels through Sri Lanka towards South Western Indian Ocean. Hence, their strengths of rain or amount of water they carry depends on lands/oceans beyond Sri Lanka. Any degradation of nature in those foreign lands directly affects Sri Lanka. We have no control over improvement of nature in those foreign geographical areas.  Rain fall figures this time are unprecedented. Hence, even if our forest cover were improved to 1948 level their water retention capacity would not be sufficient to retain such unprecedented rains. This is an issue beyond our control.  

It is no secret that industrialization is the culprit for global warming but when its impact occurs even remote countries from the industrial world also gets affected.

As far as I know, Sri Lanka has done more than its duty towards mitigating global warming but sadly leading industrial countries lag behind in their duty towards this global responsibility. Carbon trading is a failed project. Its just a face lift to pacify not so industrialized nations from being aggressive against the industrialized world. Not only that, they now attempts to revert back to old tricks in the name of protection of local economies/prestige.

UK exited EU and now Trump tries to breakaway from Paris convention on global warming both in the name of protecting local economies/prestige. As a result, we will see more aggressive weather patterns in the future.


Last edited by Ethical Trader on Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:07 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Sri Lanka FLOODS 2017

Post by slstock on Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:54 pm


Notice some concern people on the matter has responded with good comments.
So let add a bit more..




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Re: Sri Lanka FLOODS 2017

Post by slstock on Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:32 pm

කිත්සිරි ද සිල්වා wrote:Food for thought.

(Unless we as a nation is willing to change our thinking patterns, this will be the case for years to come. Preference for individual houses than for big high risers. Instead of wood, use of alternative materials for roofing, furniture etc to mention a few).


Yes as a Nation, definitely our thinking patterns   should change.
We do everything to find ways
to blame ,  
escape the reality ,
plaster it up,
slide by as we don't know or see anything  

but Not
handle the real issues and find longer term solutions.


Take Singapore:

It was big challenge to make Singaporeans to think different and make that country what it is now.

After all Singapore were  made of Asians from Malaysia, India and China right.

So how did they take the same old Asian mentalities who behave different in their native lands but  make them different in Singapore ?

Some will know the answer I am sure . Maybe Kithsiri does with all his overseas reading knowledge Smile


Last edited by slstock on Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:44 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Sri Lanka FLOODS 2017

Post by slstock on Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:50 pm

CAN I RAISE MAJOR QUESTION?

1)  Not so long ago, I heard there were major power cuts.  
Resevoirs had no/less water.  We ( Lanka)  have power crisis still right ?

So why is it happening

2)  Now there is too much Water ( Floods)
    But is it useful for anything?
   
So first no water is problem.
Now too much water is problem.


DOES ANYONE HERE THINK DUE TO MAJOR RAINS , some of our HYDRO power resevoirs must be at capacity/full by now?   WRONG.

SEE ...

http://www.dailymirror.lk/article/Water-levels-at-reservoirs-still-low-CEB-130177.html



1+1=== ???

What is the issue?


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Re: Sri Lanka FLOODS 2017

Post by slstock on Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:08 pm

The Alchemist wrote:A few people have been blaming the current flooding in southwest Sri Lanka on illicit tree felling. That is really the least of the problems.
I think the real problems are climate change and the destruction of the water-retention capability of Sri Lankan hillsides by 180 years of intensive plantation agriculture. The combination creates landslides as well as floods.
Our country depends a lot on hydropower, but the dams that help generate it were built in the pre-climate-change era and can't cope with the rainfall we have today. Dams are tricky; keep the sluice-gates open too long and downstream areas will flood; keep them shut too long and upstream areas will, and the dam, too, may breach.
I’m not sure how much illicit logging goes on in the hill country but gem
mining, some of it illegal, has also undermined hillsides, causing them to collapse when it rains hard. Our present troubles are the consequences of decades of ecological abuse.
It appears that the onset of the southwest monsoon is now much heavier than it used to be. We have to build the infrastructure to cope with it. But while governments spend huge sums on notionally profitable infrastructure (including ports and airports nobody needs) there's no money in storm drains, canal dredging, barrier walls and suchlike.
And so the river valleys of the southwest, which capture most of the runoff from the SW monsoon, will continue to flood every year. Not coincidentally, they are the most densely populated parts of our country

However if i may add , mass scale felling of "Valla patta" or "Agarwood" and other timber trees on the "Morowak Kande" (part of Singharaja forest) hill caused an earth slip destroying several houses along with 22 lives so far and brought down with it the main water tank providing water to the Morawaka area. The slip has altered the course/ wiped out of some of the tributaries of the Nilwala river as well. Encroachment which brings along with it sand mining, felling ,mono croping etc,is contributing significantly to issues of this nature.

As people move into flood plains bc of urbanization ffloods will occur absent proper infrastructure. These rains wud have been welcomed in the past bc they flooded the paddy fields--which are essentially controlled floods except their is nothing to damage. Climate change is supposed to drastically change monsoon patterns but not necessarily how much it rains. We should welcome the rain but prepare with proper infrastructure. The Dutch have mastered this!

a permit was issued last year to fell 1800 plus jak trees, just in one region. This is just a pin drop in the amount of felling that has and continue to go on, with or without permits. Undoubtedly, climate change is really causing harrowing changes to weather patterns, but, the felling of trees, the sand mining, the gem mining, the failing hydro projects, the filling of marshland, the lack or attention to repair or redo the storm drains, and of course the fantastically ill equipped ministers in charge, all add up to cause these disastrous situations. And so the caravan keeps rolling on.


source - unknown (not mine)


Well thank for sharing this .
Usually stuff like this ( as it is rare) I see through chain sharing on my Real Facebook page (as few make valid arguments like such). But never seen this.


Let take a couple of points mentioned .

1) "A few people have been blaming the current flooding in southwest Sri Lanka on illicit tree felling. That is really the least of the problems."

Well , felling trees is a problem too I am sure. It more of problem if it done in unplanned illicit ways . ( cutting a bunch of trees holding a sliding bank with its roots holding the soil is a problem as opposed to planned cutting of tree with environmental concerns in mind)


2) " I think the real problems are climate change and the destruction of the water-retention capability of Sri Lankan hillsides by 180 years of intensive plantation agriculture.

This is a true fact but need deeper analysis.

Well there is climatic change over the centuries. No question. What man articially does to imbalance Mother nature naturally will bite us back.

(Well Mr Trump seems to amazingly think it does not happen apparently . He pulled out of Paris agreement too !!! ).



3) "Our country depends a lot on hydropower, but the dams that help generate it were built in the pre-climate-change era and can't cope with the rainfall we have today. Dams are tricky; keep the sluice-gates open too long and downstream areas will flood; keep them shut too long and upstream areas will, and the dam, too, may breach."

Well, I guess there is part accuracy in this but not quite.
Naturally the Dams structural strength and age will have an impact.
Too much water above or below is no good either.

But what is the real problem here.

Is it not how we have planned enough and how we manage the issue?

Hint:
Take the example post/ link I gave above on present hydro resevoir levels/ capacity.

Amazingly with all this FLOODS , our Hydro power generating reservoirs are well below capacity!

MAYBE THERE WILL ANOTHER POWER CUT SOON Wink







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Re: Sri Lanka FLOODS 2017

Post by Future123 on Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:10 pm

Nice to see you back Sls sir

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Re: Sri Lanka FLOODS 2017

Post by slstock on Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:00 am

Expert wrote:What am I to say?
It is all our fault.
You all are telling valid things.
I heard much about environment unfriendly development. Especially large scale, primarily the southern expressway. They could have learnt from the new Galle Road built between Moratuwa and Panadura; about what happens when flow of rain water to sea is blocked.


1) Expert, my god it must be year since we had our last chat. Good to see you. I did not post here much . ( But sometimes I did on my Facebook page). But guess when I did post you were not here


2) Yes you are right. The infrastructure building need to be done with extreme care.

But will it ever happen in country like ours with our attitudes / kick backs etc.

I too read an article written by someone , which shows how the southern express was built not considering main environmental concerns / recomendation but based on "other" stuff which contributed to flooding in the area.

3)
"what happens when flow of rain water to sea is blocked"

Exactly . What ever government comes, will they think about it ?
Or will the system carry on allow "kickbacks/commissions" to allow the projects vs envornmentally concerned infrastructure projects that benefit the country , environment and all people , future.




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Re: Sri Lanka FLOODS 2017

Post by CK on Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:08 am

Very informative discussion . Very sad to see what happened to those people , specially children ..
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Re: Sri Lanka FLOODS 2017

Post by Backstage on Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:03 pm

To make a very long story very short.

The more obvious causes ; Removal of Montain forest cover, silting of rivers / reservoirs and the destruction and blockage of low lying swamps/mangroves/estuaries.
Obvious starting points ; Stop the destruction of above which continues with impunity, Reforestation above 3000 feet and Upper watershed management.

All this and more have been identified and studied since the Nineteen Sixties. Frankly I am quite apathetic after nearly a half a century of watching destruction progressing. Instead I watch NASA search for habitable planets and hope that Elon Musk to provide transport at TukTuk rates.
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Re: Sri Lanka FLOODS 2017

Post by slstock on Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:36 am

Ethical Trader wrote:Thanks SLS for bringing up this vital issue. Thanks to all others who contributed. The reasons for recent flood mentioned here have some connection to recent flooding in Sri Lanka but I see this as a global issue not totally local.

Sri Lanka is blessed with South Western monsoon, North Eastern monsoon & inter monsoonal rains. Among them, South Western monsoon travels through Sri Lanka towards North East Asia and the North Eastern monsoon travels through Sri Lanka towards South Western Indian Ocean. Hence, their strengths of rain or amount of water they carry depends on lands/oceans beyond Sri Lanka. Any degradation of nature in those foreign lands directly affects Sri Lanka. We have no control over improvement of nature in those foreign geographical areas.  Rain fall figures this time are unprecedented. Hence, even if our forest cover were improved to 1948 level their water retention capacity would not be sufficient to retain such unprecedented rains. This is an issue beyond our control.  

It is no secret that industrialization is the culprit for global warming but when its impact occurs even remote countries from the industrial world also gets affected.

As far as I know, Sri Lanka has done more than its duty towards mitigating global warming but sadly leading industrial countries lag behind in their duty towards this global responsibility. Carbon trading is a failed project. Its just a face lift to pacify not so industrialized nations from being aggressive against the industrialized world. Not only that, they now attempts to revert back to old tricks in the name of protection of local economies/prestige.

UK exited EU and now Trump tries to breakaway from Paris convention on global warming both in the name of protecting local economies/prestige. As a result, we will see more aggressive weather patterns in the future.

ET , yes ofcourse agree there are  global issue too. Any effect in bay of Bengal effects us too right? Being an island matter can worsen ( or lessen hehe)

Big countries are certainly causing more environmental damage than smaller countries like us. Agreed. So they have bigger duty to protect what they can destroy.
USA ( Rather TRump) getting out of Paris agreement is concerning. ( it does not speak the words of majority of Americans for sure)

But leaving aside Global effects that come our way , question is what are we doing to solve the problem long term that happens within the country.
It can will come again next year can it ? Are we ready?

Ex:
Tsunami issus much more regular in Japan, Florida area and maybe Thailand/Indonedia as there are close to epi center ( if I recall).
But their handling of such, the readiness and post issue mop up are much more efficient than us.

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Re: Sri Lanka FLOODS 2017

Post by slstock on Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:54 am

Backstage wrote:To make a very long story very short.

The more obvious causes ; Removal of Montain forest cover, silting of rivers / reservoirs and the destruction and blockage of low lying swamps/mangroves/estuaries.
Obvious starting points ; Stop the destruction of above which continues with impunity, Reforestation above 3000 feet and Upper watershed management.

All this and more have been identified and studied since the Nineteen Sixties. Frankly I am quite apathetic after nearly a half a century of watching destruction progressing. Instead I watch NASA search for habitable planets and hope that Elon Musk to provide transport at TukTuk rates.  

Fantastic summary. Thumb up.

But if it comes next year what to do be ready to better handle? Atleast in the next 5 years?

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Re: Sri Lanka FLOODS 2017

Post by Ethical Trader on Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:46 am

Following is an extract from a web page of Sri Lanka meteorology dept;

"Rainfall

Rainfall in Sri Lanka has multiple origins. Monsoonal, Convectional and expressional rain accounts for a major share of the annual rainfall. The mean annual rainfall varies from under 900mm in the driest parts (southeastern and northwestern) to over 5000mm in the wettest parts (western slopes of the central highlands)."

If we take five months of raining each year (leaving the dry season aside) average monthly rain during the rainy season is around 1000mm in the wet zone & 180mm in the dry zone.

Do you know that 450mm of rain was experienced just in one day in flooded districts this time? When nearly 50% of monthly rain is experienced just in one day no mitigation measure (such as improving forest cover, cleaning drainage, lakes what ever possible under the sun) would work. This is unprecedented rain this time.

What ever measures suggested would work during normal rain but not with this freak weather.


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Re: Sri Lanka FLOODS 2017

Post by slstock on Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:04 am

Ethical Trader wrote:Following is an extract from a web page of Sri Lanka meteorology dept;

"Rainfall

Rainfall in Sri Lanka has multiple origins. Monsoonal, Convectional and expressional rain accounts for a major share of the annual rainfall. The mean annual rainfall varies from under 900mm in the driest parts (southeastern and northwestern) to over 5000mm in the wettest parts (western slopes of the central highlands)."

If we take five months of raining each year (leaving the dry season aside) average monthly rain during the rainy season is around 1000mm in the wet zone & 180mm in the dry zone.

Do you know that 450mm of rain was experienced just in one day in flooded districts this time? When nearly 50% of monthly rain is experienced just in one day no mitigation measure (such as improving forest cover, cleaning drainage, lakes what ever possible under the sun) would work. This is unprecedented rain this time.

What ever measures suggested would work during normal rain but not with this freak weather.  



I have some techincal info on this, Also what an academic I know said about this 450 mm rainfall.

Well yes, this was rain that was beyond expectation and handling in quick time. A relation who was affected by floods told me this is the worst ever they got. Other said usually flood does come to their lodging level.
But this time it did.

So yeah this was probably the worst flood since tsunami.

But still, if we think about instrastucture issues we can see why devastation is more and not easily mitigate.

Firm facts, do we have a sufficent drainage system when cities are developed or built even of normal heavy rains?


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