Thursday, June 1, 2017

UPDATED: Expat News, Articles of Interest and Diary Events #10

May has historically been a terrible month for Sri Lanka when it comes to natural disasters. With the onset of the southwest monsoon comes thunderstorms, strong  winds and torrential rains. Last May our little island experienced terrible floods and landslides after being hit by a severe tropical storm followed by a major drought. Prior to the May 2016 floods Sri Lanka was suffering a major drought. And tragically this year is proving no different with the island having experienced the worst drought in 40 years at the start of this year,and now in May, the current floods said to be the worst in a decade.

The island seems to oscillate between major drought to severe floods and landslides with increased frequency. And the Sri Lankan Government's poor record with respect to planning, preparedness, early warning systems, and crisis management in these situations is worrying.

Life on the island doesn't get more frightening than being on the sharp end of natural disasters and Sri Lanka has  certainly had more than its fair share. But as much as there are challenges in the face of these natural disasters, the resilience and generosity of the island's inhabitants is amazing to witness.

Earlier this year, a local friend living up near Kegalle shared a prediction she had heard from a third party regarding possible floods, landslides and potential dam bursts in late May 2017. I was shocked when this prediction came true on the predicted dates for this current tragedy.