Sri Lanka defends preparedness to face natural disasters

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Colombo, May 30 (IANS) Sri Lanka on Tuesday defended its preparedness to face natural disasters following floods and landslides that have killed 184 people so far.

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said Sri Lanka was caught by surprise when the heavy rain led to floods and landslides, Xinhua news agency reported.

He said that early warnings had been issued for areas prone to landslides but some people disregarded them.

Meanwhile, the UN said that based on previous emergencies, drinking water and non-food items (NFIs) were identified as immediate needs by the National Disaster Relief Services Centre in Sri Lanka.

The full extent of damage and what is needed is expected to become more clear once additional areas become accessible.

Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management Centre has activated the International Space Charter Centre to obtain satellite imagery to support analysis of the flood damage. Cloud coverage, however, is constraining collection of images.

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