‘Public in flood prone areas must evacuate if rains continue’

Colombo, May 20 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday urged the public living in flood hit areas to evacuate if heavy rains continue.

Making a special announcement in the Sri Lankan capital, Wickremesinghe said that security would be tightened in districts across the country from Friday, to protect belongings and properties of families who would need to be evacuated, Xinhua reported.

He requested families in flood prone areas not to remain in their homes as that would pose a threat.

“The prevailing weather condition in the country could worsen if rains increase and that the government is taking the necessary steps to face such a situation,” Wickremesinghe said.

“Some people do not want to leave their homes for fear of losing their belongings. We have separately discussed with the military forces and police to strengthen the security in these areas from Friday morning,” the prime minister added.

He further said that his government was taking the necessary measures to prevent any health hazards which could surface from the floods.

He also said that the government had provide additional boats to conduct rescue efforts for those affected by the floods.

The local Meteorology Department on Thursday warned that more rains would occur in several parts of the country in the next few days as the deep depression in the Bay of Bengal had intensified into a cyclonic storm.

The Department said that the cyclonic storm “ROANU” was now located around 600 km north of Kankesanthurai in the northern district.

–IANS

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