Cyclone Burevi to hit Sri Lanka with heavy rain, strong winds

Colombo, Dec 2 Sri Lanka's Meteorology Department on Wednesday said cyclonic storm Burevi was likely to hit the country's eastern coast late in the evening, causing heavy rain and strong winds in the island country.

In an urgent weather update, the Meteorology Department said the cyclone was expected to hit the eastern coast between 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. (local time), and floods and extensive damage were expected, Xinhua reported.

State Minister of Disaster Management Chamal Rajapaksa informed Parliament that communities living in the areas where the cyclone was expected to hit had been asked to take precautions, and instructions had been given to refrain from fishing and naval activities in deep seas off the eastern coast until further notice.

Schools across the eastern province were closed and will remain shut till Friday, due to the inclement weather.

Rajapaksa said an allocation of Rs 1 million had been made to the district secretaries where the cyclone was expected to make the worst impact to provide essential services including food and shelter to those affected.

Disaster Management teams, by Wednesday morning, had informed those living in low lying areas to evacuate to safer areas as floods were expected due to the heavy rains.

The Meteorology Department issued a red alert for seven provinces, including the area of the capital Colombo, ahead of Cyclone Burevi.

A severe weather warning was issued for these provinces for Wednesday and Thursday during which Burevi is likely to pass and head towards India's Tamil Nadu.