Mudslides, Floods Kill 91 In Sri Lanka


Colombo: Sri Lanka’s government said the death toll from floods and mudslides that have lashed the island in the last 24 hours has risen to 91.

Nearly 8,000 people were driven out of their homes in the southwestern region of Kalutara, one of the worst affected, according to the DMC.

Home Affairs Minister Vajira Abeywardana told reporters Friday that the adverse weather conditions in southern and western parts of the island could still worsen in the next 72 hours.  The rains were the most destructive this year.

The National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) alerted the public to be vigilant on possible landslides in mountainous areas in Galle, Kegalle, Ratnapura, Kalutara, Matara and Hambanthota districts, Colombo Page reported. Heavy rains have lashed several parts of the country since Thursday.

South-west monsoon conditions are establishing over the country. Hence, showery and windy conditions are expected to continue over the south-western part of the country. The people living in low lying areas around Kelani River and Kalu Ganga are cautioned about possible floods.

The DMC said water levels of most rivers were rising. It advised residents to take adequate measures to face a major flood situation.

Sri Lanka Airforce and the Navy are working to provide relief to people stranded by floods with helicopters and boats deployed, an official said. Sri Lanka, which has been heavily deforested for cash crops, often witnesses landslides during the monsoon season.

Last year more than 100 people were killed in a massive landslide in the country.