Landslides damage homes in Kithulkanda – Quarrying to be halted for two weeks

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Heavy rains caused landslides in Kithulkanda, Meepe last Thursday, damaging several houses. Previously EFL had conducted a site visit to this area to investigate the exploitative mining on the other side of the Kithulkanda mountain in Meepe , where 15 out of 16 quarries were reportedly violating the terms of their permits. While the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau stated that they would revoke the permits of 15 quarries, EFL learned that they had given permission for 12 quarries to continue their mining activities under special conditions until a special investigation by the Mining Division of the University of Moratuwa was completed.

Landslides in Kithulkanda/ Photo Credits: EFL

Mr.  Sajjana De Silva, Acting Director- General of GSMB, told EFL that all mining activity in the area would be suspended for 2 weeks following the landslide incident, regardless of whether quarries could be pinpointed as the cause of this destructive event.

Residents reported that the intensive quarrying activities on the other side of the mountain affected them, stating that houses vibrated from rock blasting. It is suspected that unregulated and exploitative mining has contributed to triggering the landslides, and with increasing rainfall forecasted, these communities will remain at risk.

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