12 die in Sri Lanka flash floods

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Colombo, May 17 (IANS) At least 12 people were killed and four went missing in Sri Lanka due to flash floods and landslides overnight, the Disaster Management Centre said.

Rescue efforts were hampered on Tuesday due to heavy rains and strong winds in many parts of the country, Xinhua news agency reported.

A total of 134,466 people were temporarily placed in over 170 safe houses set up across the country. Authorities warned that water levels in several areas would rise.

Landslide warnings remained in at least nine districts.

President Maithripala Sirisena called for immediate action to provide food supply and assistance to thousands affected by the extreme weather and ordered the armed forces to provide assistance.

The meteorology department has warned that strong winds and heavy showers were expected to continue for another 36 hours.

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