News

Coastal inundation in the South

By Sarah Hannan

The ongoing coastal inundation caused by the swell waves in the southern coastal region from Beruwala to Hambantota via Galle, has been causing inconvenience to motorists driving along Galle Road as beach sand gets washed onto the main road which can be potentially dangerous to motorists that are riding in light vehicles.

Speaking to The Morning, Department of Coastal Conservation and Coastal Resources Management Director General B.K.P. Chandrakeerthi said: “Comparatively, this time, the inundation has been going on for too long and the sand that remains on the main road is routinely cleared so that it will not cause any accidents to motorists driving down the Galle Road stretch from Kahawa to Akurala. This time the swell was so high that it even topped our retention walls that are built in Akurala.”

Chandrakeerthi also noted that the sea sand that is being cleared from Galle Road is stocked on several sand piles in Akurala. But in the night, a group has been loading the sand into trucks and stealing it.

“We were to gather this sea sand and, once the inundation receded, we were to put it back to the beach. But now there is no sand left for us to do that. The Magistrate of Galle stated that our department should take action against these groups. However, we are unable to keep a person to guard the sand that is cleared from the road,” Chandrakeerthi noted.

The Department of Meteorology has forecasted that today (11), the sea areas extending from Kankesanthurai to Colombo via Mannar and from Matara to Pottuvil will be rough, with other sea areas around the island being fairly rough at times.

Nearshore sea areas off the coast extending from Beruwala to Hambantota via Galle might experience surges due to the effect of swell waves, having a height of 2.0-2.5 m (this is not the height of nearshore waves). Naval and fishing communities and those living in coastal areas are requested to be vigilant.

The Department of Coastal Conservation and Coastal Resources Management has estimated that at least Rs. 150 million will be spent to erect retention walls in areas where there is severe coastal inundation and erosion. A continuous study is also being carried out to identify the critical areas that would need to be looked into to conserve the beaches around Sri Lanka, Chandrakeerthi concluded.