Many parts of Sri Lanka were still under water following severe rains and winds that left at least 15 people dead, 25 missing and 200,000 affected.
Observers pointed out that Sri Lanka continued to lack effective early warning mechanisms to mitigate the damages caused by natural disasters.
Even though the Disaster Management Center (DMC) had issued a warning on the situation, observers pointed out that the warning had not reached the vulnerable people on time.
When inquired, the DMC admitted that it does not have a system where each and every citizen could be informed of a possible disaster via mobile phones.
Deputy Director (Early Warning) of the DMC, Pradeep Kodippili speaking to the Nation that they would look at such a system in future.
He however said that the system should be worked out and implemented in a manner where it does not create a congestion on the mobile networks where some get the information early while the others get it a few minutes late.
Kodippili further said that the warnings are disseminated through the DMC to the people through various means including the media and other government and non-government institutions.
“We inform the public through the media, the fisheries department, the triforces and other institutions,” he said.
Responding to allegations that the warnings do not reach the people on time to prepare for the disaster, Kodippili said the DMC issues the warning immediately as it receives the technical information. “We are not a technical agency. We receive information from institutions such as the Met Department. We analyse them and disseminate them as soon as we get the information,” he said.