Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Floods May 2018

| Flood

Sri Lanka
| Asia and the Pacific

Overview of the situation

On the morning of Sunday, the 20th of May 2018, with the provinces of Ratnapura, Kurunegala, Gampaha and Puttalam in particular (in total 19 provinces) being affected, Sri Lanka was flooded due to the onset of heavy monsoon rains. According to the situation update by the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) of Sri Lanka, as of 1200 hours on the 27th of May 2018, over 166,228 people (43,604 families) in 20 districts have been affected. As per the Report, 23 people have died, 13 have been injured and 1 person has been reported missing as a result of the heavy rains. More than 19,519 families have been evacuated into 339 welfare centres in 8 districts including the districts of Puttalam, Kegalle, Kalutara, Ratnapura, Gampaha and Colombo.

News and Materials Sri Lanka interview with Firzan Hashim

05 Jun 17:00
Connecting Business initiative Secretariat

A-PAD Business Guide to Flood

11 Jun 12:00
Connecting Business initiative Secretariat

A-PAD Bulletin April-May 2018

08 Jun 10:00
Connecting Business initiative Secretariat

Key figures

Government, humanitarian and private sector actors are coordinating action on the ground to provide support and deliver aid to the people in need. Here the reported damage. 


People killed


People injured


Families evacuated


9,455 people have been displaced by flooding in Mullaithvu, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Vavuniya and Jaffna districts in north-east Sri Lanka and are now staying in 30 safety centres. Mullaithivu and Killinochchi, the two most affected districts, received more than 250 mm of rainfall over a 24 hour period on 22-23 December, the highest recorded rainfall in one day since 1983. The flooding has subsided as the weather improved over the last few days, with more than 2,000 people who had initially been displaced returning to their homes. The National Disaster Relief Services Center (NDRSC) has provided 49.5 million Sri Lankan Rupee (US$ 260,000) in cash allocations to address the immediate needs of those affected.

9,455 people displaced


As of 28 December 2018, the number of people displaced by Sunda Strait tsunami has increased to 40,386. The total number of fatalities now stands at 426, with the number of injured increasing to 7,202 people. Approximately 1,300 houses have been damage in the affected areas. The Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) issued a high tide warning, with potential high tides of 2.5-4 metres in the southern parts of the Sunda Strait. The warning was in effect until 31 December 2018, with no reports of any impact from the high tide. The alert status of Mount Anak Krakatau was also increased to Level III (Standby) on 27 December 2018 with an exclusion zone of 5 km put in place around the volcano.

40,386 people displaced


A earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 (according to USGS) occurred off-shore near Davao Oriental Province on 29 December 2018 at 11:39 local time. A tsunami warning for Philippines and Indonesia was initially issued but subsequently cancelled. Despite strong shaking reportedly felt in nearby parts of both countries there was no casualties or damage reported.


Fighting between the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) and the Shan State Progressive Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) in Tun Keng village in Hsipaw Township on 22-25 December displaced more than 1,200 people from at least ten villages. Most of these displaced people have fled clashes more than twice since October 2018. The displaced people sheltered in monasteries in three different locations in Hsipaw where the Department of Disaster Management, CSOs, international and local NGOs provided assistance. As of 31 December, all of the displaced people have reportedly returned homes. Fighting between the Arakan Army (AA) and the Myanmar Military continued in Rakhine State during last week. As a result, some 1,500 people were newly displaced and it brings the total number of displaced people since 8 December to around 2,500. Authorities, CSOs, local and international humanitarian organizations, have provided assistance to displaced people in Ponnagyun and Kyauktaw townships. Humanitarian organisations have conducted missions to displacement sites in Kyauktaw and Ponnagun townships on 29 and 31 December.

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Situation Report

Global Highlights

• In Q1-2018, the FAO cereal price index rose by 8.6 percent from Q1-2017, while the global food price index declined by 2 percent year-on-year.

• The real price for wheat was 22 percent above Q1-2017 levels: crops suffered dryness in the United States and cold weather in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, leaving production forecasts open to a downward revision.3 World ending stocks remain at record levels.

• The real price for maize was 6 percent higher than last quarter but stable compared to Q1-2017.
Overall favourable crop conditions offset mixed production outcomes in the southern African regions, leading to firm world supplies.

• The real price of rice increased by 14 percent from Q1-2017, with a slight contraction of stocks in exporting countries and increased buying interest from importing countries.

• In Q1, the real price of crude oil increased by 5 percent from the previous quarter following an agreement on extensive production cuts in major oil-producing countries.

• The cost of the basic food basket increased severely (>10%) in Q1-2018 in five countries: Bangladesh, Central African Republic, Rwanda, the Sudan and Yemen. High increases (5–10%) were seen in Indonesia, Iraq, Myanmar, South Sudan, Turkey and Viet Nam. In the other monitored countries, the change was moderate or low (<5%).

• Price spikes, as monitored by ALPS, were detected in 19 countries, particularly in Burkina Faso, Haiti, Mali, Sudan, Sri Lanka, South Sudan and the Sudan (see the map below).4 These spikes indicate crisis levels for the two most important staples in each country, which could be maize, milk, millet, oil, rice, sorghum, sweet potatoes or wheat.

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Photo: Amantha Perera