A swelling tide of floodwater has brought distress to thousands of people in the southwestern area of Ceylon.
A swelling tide of floodwater has brought distress to thousands of people in the southwestern area of Ceylon. One of the worst affected districts was around the town of Ratnapura, in the mountains 60 miles (96 kms) east of Colombo, where several thousand people were made homeless.
Visnews cameraman P.U. Pathirana braved flooded roads to film in the Ratnapura district over the weekend, at a time when weather experts were predicting heavier monsoon rains to come.
Tragedy struck just north of Ratnapura at the beginning of the week, when a landslide killed at least 28 people in a teagrowing area.
SYNOPSIS: In Ceylon's mountains east of Colombo, torrential monsoon rains turned rivers into raging torrents at the weekend. First to suffer were crops in low-lying fields along the river valleys. Weather experts predicted that there was worse to come, forecasting more rain and strong winds.
Worst hit at the week-end was the area around Ratnapura, sixty miles from the capital. Several-thousand people were made homeless here, and damage to crops and property was extensive.
After these scenes had been filmed at the weekend, the continuing torrential rains brought tragedy to a tea-growing area just north of Ratnapura. Twenty-eight people were feared dead when a land-elide swept down onto a flooded village. Wherever the floods struck, the homeless set about building temporary shelters.
As the local people salvaged what belongings they could, an emergency relief operation wa being planned. Efforts to bring aid to the stricken area were hindered when the floods and gale-force winds seriously disrupted the telephone and telegraph network.