7 killed, thousands affected by torrential rains in Sri Lanka
Colombo, May 21 : Heavy monsoon rains and strong winds across Sri Lanka have killed at least seven persons and displaced more than 1,000, prompting authorities to deploy the military for rescue and relief operations.
The Disaster Management Center (DMC) said that 1024 people have been displaced so far and have been sheltered at temporary locations.
Seven people have been killed so far and hundreds have been affected by the adverse weather experienced in most parts of the country, Colombo Gazette reported.
The most number of displaced have been reported from Badulla, Kegalle and Kalutara, the DMC said.
Over 170 houses have been damaged as a result of the adverse weather affecting the country over the past few days.
Landslide warnings were issued for several areas while people living along major rivers were cautioned over the possibility of floods, the report said.
The Army, Navy and Air Force were deployed to the most affected areas to provide relief and join the rescue operations.
President Maithripala Sirisena directed the relevant authorities to provide immediate relief to those affected.
In addition to the deaths, during the last 48 hours seven accidents have been reported on the expressways. Sri Lanka Police are advising the motorists to drive with more attention at lower speed when it is raining, the Colombo Page reported.
Meanwhile, the Department of Meteorology said that the prevailing rainy conditions along with cloudy skies in the Southwestern part of the island is expected to continue during next few days.
Sri Lanka, which has been heavily deforested for cash crops, often witnesses landslides during the monsoon season.
Last year, heavy floods and landslides triggered by the worst rainfall killed at least 92 people and left 110 missing.