Tropical depression threatens flooding across Sri Lanka

Damaging winds and flooding expected as storms in Bay of Bengal head towards Sri Lanka.

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    The last week or so has seen torrential downpours across southern parts of the Bay of Bengal.

    Southern India and Sri Lanka have both been badly affected and there has been some flooding.

    The daily downpours look set to continue into the weekend.

    On Wednesday morning, Sri Lanka's Department of Meteorology announced that a tropical depression had formed just to the southeast of the country.

    It is expected to strengthen for a time as it moves along the southern coast. Warnings have been issued for heavy rain, rough seas and strong winds. Gusts of over 60 kilometres per hour are expected.

    This brings the inevitable risk of further flooding and the potential for mudslides.

    Recent rainfall has been particularly heavy across the eastern half of the country with the northeasterly monsoon bringing plenty of moist air in from the Bay of Bengal.

    Trincomalee in the Eastern Province had 57mm of rain the 24 hours up to 0600GMT on Tuesday.

    Nearby, Batticoloa began the week with 107mm of rain in the same space of time. That amounted to almost a third of the November average rainfall of 340mm.

    Meanwhile, Nuwara Eliya in the tea country hills of central Sri Lanka recorded 92mm of rain on Tuesday. Much of the island can expect 25 to 75mm of rain over the next day or two with the close proximity of the potential cyclone.

    Southern and eastern parts of the country are likely to see the heaviest downpours with daily totals approaching 150mm in places.

    The rain should ease by Sunday as the tropical disturbance moves into the Arabian Sea.

    Any respite from the heavy rain is likely to be short-lived as another tropical system developing near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands may arrive as early as Thursday.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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