COLOMBO -- Sri Lanka was on Wednesday bracing for tropical cyclone Burevi that is likely to pack winds up to 95 kmph (60 mph) and bring heavy rains when it makes landfall on the island.
In a televised speech, Meteorology Department chief Athula Karunaratne said they were expecting the cyclone to make landfall around 7 pm Wednesday before it passes over the country and moves towards the Arabian Sea on Thursday morning.
Karunaratne said the path of the cyclone would carry it through the northeastern coast between Trincomalee and Point-Pedro with winds up to 95 kmph and rainfall of over 150 mm at some places.
“Please do not rush to places to take selfies or to see the cyclone. We have taken measures for your safety and you have to act responsibly,” Disaster Management Center head Sudantha Ranasinghe urged people.
The government has already shut down all schools in the eastern and northern provinces until Friday.
The authorities have also cautioned fisher-communities against venturing into the sea.
The government has set up several evacuation centers but has not evacuated people as yet.
Speaking to EFE, DMC spokesperson Pradeep Kodippili said the evacuation would happen depending on the severity of the situation.
“We haven’t evacuated people in the area because of the pandemic. We are evaluating the situation and the evacuations will start depending on (the severity) of the cyclone,” he said.
The government also deployed the armed forces, police, and health officers in the areas that are likely to be hit by Burevi.