Colombo, May 29 (NIA) – The death toll from the devastating floods and landslides which has hit Sri Lanka since Friday has risen to 164 with 104 people missing, the Disaster Management Center said here Monday.
Over 400,000 people were affected by the severe rains and strong winds and over 100,000 people were relocated to 304 safe locations set up across the country.
Ratnapura, in south central Sri Lanka, was one of the worst affected districts with 71 deaths while Matara, in southern Sri Lanka, recorded 21 deaths.
The southern districts of Kalutara recorded 53 deaths while Kegalle recorded 2 deaths, Galle 9 deaths and Hambantota 5 deaths.
Matara, had the highest number of people affected with 131,775.
People residing in low lying areas towards southern Sri Lanka were advised to evacuate to safer location due to the threat of rivers overflowing as the Meteorology Department on Monday warned of more rains followed by strong winds.
The Meteorology Department said that the depression in the East central Bay of Bengal had intensified in to a Cyclonic storm ‘MORA’ but was now further moving away from the island.
Under it’s influence cloudy skies, windy and showery conditions are expected over the country, the Department warned.
“Strong winds about 80kmph can be expected over the country (these wind conditions are especially expected over the western slope of the central hills) and surrounding sea areas,” the Department said in its latest weather report for Monday.
It also said that rains or thundershowers would occur at times in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, North-western and Central provinces.
Heavy falls above 100 mm could be expected at some places (particularly in the Western slope of the central hills).
Aid has continued to pour into Sri Lanka from countries in the region as thousands were affected by days of heavy rains triggered by the yearly monsoons in the island country.
India sent two ships of relief supplies which reached Colombo over the weekend while China has pledged aid worth an estimated 2.2 million US dollars which will reach Colombo on a charter flight soon.
Pakistan has also pledged to send relief supplies which will reach Colombo in the coming week.
Tri forces along with rescue teams continued search and rescue operations into Monday while many other teams were also seen distributing dry rations and food to those who remained in their houses which were partially inundated.
Sri Lankan President who visited some of the worst affected areas during the weekend has assured immediate relief to the victims and has pledged to build new homes for those who have lost their houses.