Sri Lanka Coast Guard pressed into action to combat fuel spill emergency

Following a bowser accident involving fuel transportation in the Guruluwela area of Laggala, Matale on 05th May 2024, a successful operation was conducted to remove the fuel that had leaked into the water of Ravanagama Lake, with the assistance of the Sri Lanka Coast Guard.

The Disaster Management Center (DMC) had informed the Office of the Chief of Defence Staff that a bowser carrying fuel overturned into the canal supplying water to Ravanagama Lake in the Guruluwela area on 05th May, resulting in fuel contamination of the lake water. DMC also requested technical assistance and support for promptly removing the mixed fuel from Ravanagama Lake, which serves as the primary water source for paddy cultivation in the area.

On being informed the Navy Headquarters promptly fulfilled the Chief of Defense Staff's Office request for technical assistance, coordinating with the Sri Lanka Coast Guard and dispatching a specialized team from the Sri Lanka Coast Guard to provide the required support.

Arriving at the location, the specialized team, comprising 03 officers and 10 sailors from the Sri Lanka Coast Guard, trained to handle fuel spills, effectively utilized their technical equipment and expertise to extract fuel mixed with water from the Ravanagama Lake, by the evening of 06th May. The effort was well supported by Mahaweli Project Team of Guruwela Grama Seva Office, Divisional Secretariat Laggala, Laggala Police and residents. Accordingly, approx 2000 liters of fuel were successfully removed from the lake water.

The effective completion of this fuel removal operation helped avoid significant harm to paddy cultivation in the area as well as avoiding major environmental impact. Moreover, the Navy and Coast Guard remain vigilant to respond during this nature of distress faced by the public.