COI to probe weather disaster

In the wake of the recent deaths, injuries and missing individuals as a result of the monsoon rains, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga to immediately take the necessary steps to appoint a Committee of Inquiry to examine the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the fishermen and the reasons as to why affected people were not informed of the impending severe weather conditions in order to be able to take precautionary measures.The President has requested that a report be submitted to him without delay, the President’s office said in a statement today. Over 100 houses have also been reported as being fully damaged by the storm, the DMC said. (Colombo Gazette) The committee members are Dr. A.W. Mohottala (Chairman), A. Dissanayake and C. Rajapaksha. The death toll from the storm had risen to 40 fishermen dead and several still missing, the Disaster Management Center said this afternoon.DMC spokesman Sarath Lal said that the bodies of the 40 fishermen have been recovered and search and rescue operations are underway to locate those missing. Accordingly a three member committee has been named to investigate the incident. read more