Death toll in Sri Lanka monsoon rains hits 19

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Colombo, May 26 (IANS) The death toll in Sri Lanka monsoon rains reached 19 on Saturday while over 128,000 people have been affected, the country’s Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said.

DMC Spokesperson Pradeep Kodippili said two people were reported missing in the south while over 55,000 people had been evacuated to safer areas, Xinhua news agency reported.

With the threat of more rains in the coming days, Kodippili said those living in low areas, close to rivers and lakes were advised to evacuate and the police along with tri forces had been deployed in the affected districts for relief assistance.

Till date, over 4,000 houses, mainly in the south and north central Sri Lanka have been fully or partially damaged.

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Kodippili also warned the naval and fishing communities to be vigilant as the wind speed could increase up to 60 to 70 km per hour.

President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe earlier this week instructed relevant authorities to immediately provide relief to the people affected by floods and landslides.

The Meteorological Department said that “heavy falls above 100 millimetres can be expected at some places in Sabaragamuwa, Western, Central and North-Western provinces and in Galle and Matara districts”.

Over 200 people were killed and 78 people went missing when the monsoons caused severe floods and landslides across Sri Lanka in 2017.

–IANS

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