Toll in Sri Lanka floods hits 202

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Colombo, May 31 (IANS) The death toll in Sri Lanka’s devastating floods and landslides reached 202 on Wednesday morning with 96 people still reported missing, officials said.

The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said 63 people were injured while over 600,000 people were affected.

Severe rains and strong winds which ravaged Sri Lanka since Friday caused major floods and landslides in many areas of the island. The southern district of the country was the worst affected, Xinhua news agency reported.

As water levels were receding, tri-services forces along with rescue teams launched a massive clean up operation in order to restore normalcy in the affected areas. At least 83,200 people had sought shelter in safe locations.

Sixteen hospitals in Sri Lanka were evacuated as the facilities were directly affected by the floods or exposed to landslides, a UN statement said.

“With the increasing number of displaced people and lack of space in safe locations, temporary shelter and ensuring access to health services is needed. Disease surveillance and vector control is also a priority with the risk of communicable diseases,” the statement said.

The Ministry of Health deployed medical teams in Kalutara, Ratnapura and Galle districts in southern Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday said the reconstruction of 640 fully destroyed houses and 5,329 partially destroyed houses will start soon.

International aid poured into the country with India, China, the US, Britain, Pakistan, Australia, Norway and the European Union donating funds and sending relief supplies.

–IANS

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