Cyclone Roanu, which hit Sri Lanka on 15 May, unleased strong winds, heavy rain, flooding and landslides affecting more than 300,000 in 22 districts, particularly Colombo and Gampaha. Strong winds damaged more than 5,000 homes and floods swamped entire villages. More than 21,000 people have been displaced and are currently living in temporary shelters (e.g. camps, schools, temples, community centres).
“This cyclone has caused the worst flooding in Sri Lanka in 25 years. The water level remains high and there is still a risk of landslides in nine districts. In conjunction with the government of Sri Lanka and other humanitarian actors, we are assessing the needs of the affected population to launch a response in aid of the disaster’s victims,” explains Matteo Caprotti, Handicap International Country Director in Sri Lanka.
The organisation’s priority is to supply relief to the most vulnerable individuals, particularly people with disabilities. “In disaster situations, the most vulnerable people - women, children, older people and people with disabilities - cannot always find shelter, benefit from health care or rehabilitation services. Our priority is to make sure they can access humanitarian services,” he adds.