Natural Hazards

In Sri Lanka, floods, landslides, cyclones, droughts, wind storms, coastal erosion, tsunami, sea surge, and sea level rise are the main natural hazards that generate disasters. These natural disasters have caused loss of life, and enormous damage and destruction to property.

·         The eastern and north eastern parts of Sri Lanka are highly vulnerable to cyclones that develop in the Bay of Bengal during the months of November and December. Parts of north central and north western parts have also been subjected to cyclone impacts but to a lesser degree. The agency mandated to issue warnings in the case of cyclones is the Department of Meteorology. 


·         Excessive rainfalls, deforestation, misuse of lands, typical landforms and geology results in landslides.Badulla, Nuwara Eliya, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Kalutara, Kandy and Matale districts are prone to landsides. The agency mandated to issue warnings in the case of landslides is the National Building Research Organization.


·         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.


·         Droughts in Sri Lanka mostly occur in North Western, South Eastern and North Central parts of the country due to monsoonal failures. Droughts of a serious nature occur every 3-4 years and severe droughts of national significance approximately every 10 years.


Source: Ministry of Disaster Management

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