There've been rumours about upcoming power cuts and water cuts as a result of the water and power plants going under water. We called up the relevant ministries and departments and found out that this isn't actually true.
Ergo, it's important to (a) not panic and (b) make sure your sources are reliable. Like, really reliable. Please double check viral FB posts or tweets before you share it, and cross check it with official statements.
Debunking the Myths
No water disruption in Colombo
A couple of FB statuses and tweets claiming that the Ambatale water treatment plant was about to cease supplying water to Colombo have been making the rounds. Aforementioned rumours claimed that the purification plant was about to get flooded, which would, in turn, lead to watercuts in the city.
The plant operations manager responded saying this is not so. There's no danger to the Ambatale plant, and water supplies to the city will continue as usual.
No island-wide powercuts
Ignore the chain emails and WhatsApp messages you're getting, because the Ceylon Electricity Board isn't planning on implementing power cuts, island-wide or otherwise. CEB's Trade Union Convener Ranjan Jayalal told us that there are smaller powercuts around flood-affected areas, especially those completely underwater, but they're working on getting those up and running.
Current Weather Update
The cyclonic storm causing all of this (christened Roanu) is moving off. However, there'll be strong winds around the country with sudden rains in the South-Western areas, the Disaster Management Centre said. They warn of heavy rainfalls (100-150mm) in some areas, but didn't actually specify which. Either way, the public are urged to be cautious and minimize danger.
Showers and thunderstorms are expected in most areas of the country including the Western, North Western, Central, and Sabaragamuwa Provinces, and in the Galle, Matara and Mannar districts.
Forecast for the Next 24 Hours
Seasides will be rough, with thundershowers expected to occur erratically from Kankasanthurai to Hambanthota.
Showers may occur elsewhere (sorry, we know that's vague but that's all the DMC has) after 2PM. So basically late noon and evening.
Watch out for strong winds predicted to go up to 70-80kmph.
Floods along Rivers and Waterways
Many areas along the Kelani River are inundated, with water levels still rising along Nagalagam Street. Hanwella was flooded too and Glencourse was alerted, but waterlevels are dropping in both areas as of now.
Areas along the Kalu Ganga are flooded as well, especially Millakanda and Putupaula, but waterlevels are dropping.
Mahaweli is normal, and the status of Attanagalu Oya, Maha Oya, and Yan Oya (all three which were on high alert and had flooded) is that the water-levels are dropping now.
Mostly Affected Areas
Colombo's had a massive hit, and has over 35,000 affected families. 62 camps have popped up to facilitate the victims. Next up is Gampaha and Puttalam. Other notably affected areas are Kalutara, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Nuwaraeliya, Kandy, Anuradhapura, Kurunagala, Vavuniya, Mannar, Mulaitivu, and Kilinochchi.
The DMC told us that there's not been a huge drop in water levels, but it's receding nonetheless. They're overlooking evacuations, which are happening as of the time of writing. People and officials are running around to get things under control and help as much as possible, and one of the DMC Emergency Operations officials told us rather hurriedly that there'd only be more problems — larger issues — if the rain continues on a massive scale. However, Roanu is moving away, and the Met Dept is cautiously optimistic of fairer weather.
For State updates, keep up with the Disaster Management Centre and the Met Department. The DMC regularly updates their Situation Reports (left column of the webpage) as does the Met Dept with their City Forecasts and Weather Data.