The uh, beach, a bit advance of Kingfisher, near Upul’s.
No businesses were demolished in Unawatuna. The beach, however, has been wrecked, at least temporarily. I drove down to Unawatuna on the Southern Expressway and you can see that things are both better and worse than you’d imagine.
Hotels And Restaurants Are Not Destroyed
It’s not like Kingfisher is destroyed, just their deck, which was basically in the ocean anyways. Behind that is a three story boutique hotel (less than a year old I think). That’s fine. I tried to walk along the beach to other spots, and that’s the trouble. The beach is, at least temporarily, ruined. The bulldozers have left rubble and broken trees and concrete everywhere and it’s a damn mess. Talked to a few owners and they said it was (at least effectively) up to them to clean it up. This being peak season, that’s going to be a bitch.
The Kingfisher floating deck is gone, but their classy new hotel remains
In Colombo we just heard about this from the Taiwanese wires of all things, so people were like ZOMG, but it’s actually not so bad. When I saw the scene the first thing I thought was how not bad it was. I though like Kingfisher was gutted and the owners were destitute. They look to be doing better than ever and the strip looks great. I’ve only been away for like a year and there are already huge new hotels, and they’re nice.
But The Beach Is A Mess
What’s messed up is the beach. First, because people built on it (at high tide you’d basically have to swim around Kingfisher’s deck to pass), and second because the government demolished it and left most of the mess. If they don’t clean it up soon those huge rocks and stuff will wash back into the sea and people will be stubbing their toes for years to come. Which is deeply uncool.
Kinda scary carnage
This is a problem. I really hate stubbing my toes and so do tourists. I’m really hoping the government sends bulldozers and cleans the shizz up at low tide. Bill the illegal constructors, whatever. I thought they’d lost their livelihoods, but they haven’t. They all look to be doing really well. But please clean up the beach. I swims there.
Rights And Wrongs
These structures were illegal, and not in a weed is illegal sense. They were actually a bad idea, bad for the environment, tourists, etc. They made certain parts of the beach impassable at high tide and you basically shouldn’t build on the beach itself, as anyone who’s made a sandcastle would know. It has been the law that they should be torn down for years, and these guys were warned years and then months in advance. The thing is that the government finally did something that needed to be done.
As with the vegetable crate issue, however, they could have done it much better. First, this should have been done off season. Tourists are there now and it looks like tsunami again – though parts of the beach are fine. Try Jungle Beach if you really have a problem. They could have done this off-season, and they should have taken the time to move the rubble. Because clearing structures to preserve the environment and, in the process, destroying the environment is not what I would call a win. They still have a few days to make it not a fail.
I apologize for the shitty photos. My camera died in the war.