Flood relief operations undertaken by Army troops of the Security Force Headquarters – West (SFHQ-West), 14 Division, 58 Division, 141 Brigade, 142 Brigade, 581 Brigade, 582 Brigade, 583 Brigade, a few training centres, Navy and the Air Force in worst-affected Kalutara, Galle and Ratnapura districts are now at a steady pace as heavy rains and flood levels were fast decreasing, according to the latest reports received by the Army Headquarters in Colombo.
Prioritizing humanitarian concerns in respective areas, Army troops of the 58 Division and 14 Division with a fleet of more than 23 boats were still ferrying stranded victims in Kalawana, Nagoda, Baddegama, Akuressa, Matara, Morawaka and many other affected areas. Meanwhile, a fleet of 63 Army heavy vehicles and machinery, including 13 BTR and 18 WMZ troop carriers, 18 unibuffles, 12 iron horses (heavy carriages) and recovery vehicles, some of which are mostly amphibious have been deployed in Pahiyangala, Ratnapura, Akuressa, Kamburupitiya, Pitabeddara and devastated areas to ferry stranded people.
Hundreds of troops of the Armoured Brigade, Engineer Brigade, Mechanized Infantry Brigade, Commando Brigade, Special Force Brigade, Air Mobile Brigade and the Sri Lanka Artillery (SLA) are fully committed to those rescue and relief operations, clearing respective areas with heavy machinery as of Wednesday (31) evening under the close supervision of Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe, Commander, Security Forces – West who is also the overall commander of the mission on the directions of the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Crisanthe De Silva.
Meanwhile, dedicated members of Corps of Sri Lanka Engineers commanded by Chief Field Engineer and the Engineer Brigade Commander since the day 1 of the tragedy have been toiling hard to clear roads and devastated houses, provide life saving support and disaster relief supplies and relocate the victims. Engineer troops, segregated into three sectors, Sabaragamuwa, South and Colombo have committed their 12 Field Sri Lanka Engineers, 5 Field Sri Lanka Engineers and troops at the Independent Workshop of the Sri Lanka Engineers respectively for this emergency need of the hour.
Those Engineer troops during the past four days worked effectively in Matara, Akuressa, Baddegama, Thawalama, Mapalagama, Kalutara, Kaduwela, Eheliyagoda, Nivithigala, Baduraliya, Thummodara in Kaluaggala – Labugama road, Agalawatta, Bulathsinhala, Galle-Deniyaya road, Morawaka, Eheliyagoda, Kotapola and other areas, and managed to restore worst-affected areas by opening public roads, removing heavy impediments, renovating most urgent waterways, preventing burst of river banks, relocating displaced civilians and conducting almost all required relief operations, etc.
Meanwhile, during the past 24 hours ending Wednesday (31) evening, a total of 46,000 meal packets, 4,995 kg of dry rations, 6,370 litres of water bottles, 1200 kg of medicine and 27 sleeping mats have been distributed among the victims through the office of the Chief of Defence Staff. Army troops added 10,000 lunch packets and 1,500 water bottles to the stock that was distributed in the past few hours.