2006 November monsoon season is a disastrous one for Sri Lanka. Specially the last Sunday 12.11.06 was historic.
All of this environmental debacles in recent time has something to do with improper planning, unauthorised land fillings and buildings. It brought more chaos and misery for this war-torn country. Floods, land slides and lost of lives reflect another abandoned and raped issue in this paradise isle. For whatsoever the excuses made by the authorities and the people, I think this should be expected and we are all responsible for this kind of nature’s revenge.
The Sunday, we eye-witnessed and were lucky to stay unharmed some of the late breaking news on the TV in the evening.
Picturesque Nortonbridge Reservoir
Story goes like this. Since we spend the weekend in Nuwara Eliya. On our way back, yesterday, there was a big land slide at the Colombo-Hatton road in Ginigathhena. To avoid that and come to Colombo we had to take an alternate route. We were suggested a route thro Nortonbridge Reservoir. It was a beautiful narrow one but finally completely blocked by all out-bound traffic to Colombo. Then few others and we turn back to Ginigathhena thro another narrow road in the Nortonbridge Caslteriegh mountains. From there some headed to Kandy road. Since Kandy road was also uncertain and very long we looked around for an alternate. For our surprise we were to find one. It was a most bizarre kind of small barren by road, a risky one, that we didn’t know at that time, roughly 10-15 Km long, that leads back to Colombo main road avoiding the land slide. We came out unharmed though we seriously felt that we shouldn’t have taken that road risking our beloved Chevy and our lives themselves. A slight mistake, a drift over, a gas running out, a flat tyre, anything could have left us stranded. A night without sleep.
It was raining cats & bulls and as dark as midnight around 5.00 pm. Starting part of the road was okay and fun to drive when it wasn’t broken. But in one particular abandoned section (nearly 10 km block) was an utter nightmare. Continues heavy rain had uprooted all the road foundation stones and rocks all over the path. Steep. Water was drifting all over like we were in a rocky stream. As driving on rollers on a wet slippery land we were descending at a slow pace. Wheels were creaking locked by pushed to the wall brakes but still sometimes the car was sliding and moving downward. Boy! No way up now either. I was praying for our Chevy’s tyre’s not to give up on us. Our beloved Chevy, warm and nice inside, while nature takes it’s heaviest toll on it’s outside, kept our spirits high, we were safe inside, or so we felt. Finally hours later we reached-back the main Colombo-Hatton Road safely.
And it’s only when we came to the civilisation that we heard elsewhere in Kandy – Gampola Road a land slide was taken place with few vehicles underneath killing 5 or so people on board.
Gosh! It was a main road while we took even worse not-on-the-map road to come back to the Colombo main road.
Land slide in Kandy-Pussellawa Road killing a few people
Most flood gates were open
Imagine it could have been us
People had died here too
On the same day elsewhere in the country it had flooded many places. In Hatton Town (the way we passed) there was another land slide taking few lives. Reservoirs were filled and spilling. Most flood gates were open. Rivers were filled without their banks. People were drowning. Roads were blocked. Some leaving no sign where they were. All chaos and misery brought by the monsoon rain.
Now I leisurely lie down on my bed and jot down this blog post though It’s been one heck of a day. We travelled nearly 350 km while it should have been somewhere 200 km thro the main roads.
Sadly unlike other times whole adventure was without pictures due to sub-zero visibility and all the time we were dealing road worries than getting a chance to touch the camera. Above shown ones I have picked from various media reports.