Mannar Yodha Wewa embankment cracking – Prof. Senaratne

Peradeniya University’s Geological Sciences Department Senior Professor Athula Senaratne yesterday said that cracks of three to four inches have appeared near the five kilometer-long earth embankment of the Yodha Wewa in Mannar. He said that it was clear during an observation carried out that the ancient earth embankment had been subject to erosion in several places. Prof.Senaratne also said that since the embankments of many of the older big tanks in this country are facing some kind of a risk, they should be checked regularly.

He also emphasized that there is a danger that the cracks that are currently visible on the embankment will expand further in the future as vehicles pass over the bund of the Yodha Wewa in Mannar.

Prof.Senaratne said water that is collected due to heavy rains experienced within a very short period flow into tanks through rivers, streams and canals and as a result, the situation will develop into one where embankments will not be able to bear the tension created in these tanks.

He said that these ancient reservoirs have been built using very old technology and although there is about a two-thousand year history, now it is possible to see a situation of risk. He said these embankments are built from layers of compressed soil and because the embankments are very large, there is a greater chance of being endangered.

He said that there are earth embankments at Parakrama Samudraya, the Giritale Wewa and the Minneriya Wewa and everyone should keep in mind how the Kantale tank collapsed in 1985 as a result of irregular human activities. He requested authorities to conduct a formal investigation into what he has said and not to dismiss his statement.

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