The Sri Lanka Airforce website has powerful photos of the current flooding. All taken from SLAF relief flights.
The photos make words useless. Even the mundane ones hace a strangeness about them. The expressways standing neat and clean against the brown water. Rivers and the roads merged in the same flat colour. Each roof sticking out of that water a sign of disrupted displaced lives.
If there’s a consolation, its the sight of Air Force personal doing their job. You catch sight of focused stares. A calm determined focus. Everyone properly clipped in safety harnesses, floro vests and helmets. They have the body language of people who know what they are doing. As well as the confidence of people who know they are good at what they do.
Here’s the current list so far
- Aerial Photos from 22nd May – Looks like the Kelani river areas near Colombo
- Photos from relief missions May 21: with aerial photos of what might be Kirindiwela
- Flood Relief Operations on 20 May 2016
- Aranayake landslide, Bulathkohupitiya, Kelaniya and Biyagama. The Aranayake landslide photos are scary in an odd way.
- Disaster Relief Operations Over Thabbowa which has some harrowing photos of rescues
- Kelaniya, Biyagama areas on the morning of May 19th. clearly show the extent of the flooding.
- Photos taken during flood relief operations on 20 May 2016
The SLAF appears to be carrying out other flood related work as well. airforce.lk site gets updated quite regularly.
At a practical level, Yamu.lk has post listing the relief orgs. It has links to donations sites and other info.
Writing this I realise all this flood stuff has the bitter ring of familiarity. Sri Lanka is an island of rivers. When it pours they flood. Yet I the fear that the imprint of human activity has a part to play. Ignoring that factor is a the bigger disaster.
I’ll leave you with that for now.