Minister says Met Department must be shut if no faith

Disaster Management Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa says the Department of Meteorology must be closed down if the public do not have faith in its weather predictions.

Yapa told reporters today that the Department had issued accurate weather predictions based on its available resources.

“If as you say the Prime Minister and Tourism Minister say the Department of Meteorology does not give accurate predictions then it should be shut down,” he said in response to a question raised at a press conference today.

Journalists asked the Minister why the Department of Meteorology could not predict very heavy rain lashing the country just hours before it actually did, resulting in severe floods and landslides.

The Minister said that the Department of Meteorology did predict there was going to be heavy rain and the Disaster Management Centre had also issued a warning.

However he said the warning had not reached the public in an effective manner and this needs to be addressed for the future.

He said that a system must be devised with the media to ensure the public get information on the weather effectively.

Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa also said that while there are several shortcomings, the Government will look to address those shortcomings to face a disaster in future.

Yapa also played down his absence in the country when the disaster took place, saying his absence did not impact rescue and recovery operations.

The Minister said he had to attend a conference in Mexico representing the President but he returned to Sri Lanka earlier than the scheduled date. (Colombo Gazette)

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