Sri Lanka evacuates people as storm nears

Colombo, Jan 5 (IANS) Sri Lanka has begun evacuating people living along the coast areas, as a major storm threatened to create havoc in the area, officials said Sunday.

The early warning centre of the department of meteorology said that strong winds of speeds about 100 km per hour and very heavy rain are expected over the northern province and the areas adjacent to northern sea, Xinhua reported.
It warned people living along the coastal areas of Jaffna, Mullaitivu and Mannar to be more vigilant, as sea waves are expected to rise above three metres. Officials said that people living within 100 metres from the sea were evacuated as a precautionary measure and taken to safer locations.
The US Navy and Air Force Joint Typhoon Warning Centre earlier said tropical storm “one” was forecast to strike Jaffna with maximum sustained winds and high gusts.
In 2004, Sri Lanka suffered extensive damages and lost over 30,000 lives when a devastating tsunami struck and caught the country unawares. Since then, Sri Lanka has put in place a natural disaster emergency system to evacuate people before the disaster strikes.