COLOMBO, May 30 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka on Tuesday defended its preparedness to face natural disasters following floods and landslides which killed nearly 200 people so far.
Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne told reporters that Sri Lanka was caught by surprise when the heavy rain brought floods and landslides.
He said that early warnings had been issued for areas prone to landslides but some people disregarded the warnings.
Meanwhile the United Nations said that based on previous emergencies, drinking water and non-food items (NFIs) were identified as immediate needs by the National Disaster Relief Services Center in Sri Lanka.
The full extent of damage and needs is expected to be more clear once additional areas become accessible.
Sri Lanka's Disaster Management Center has activated the International Space Charter Center to obtain satellite imagery to support analysis of the flood damage. Cloud coverage, however, is constraining collection of images.
The Chinese government has said it will offer humanitarian aid worth 15 million yuan (about 2.2 million U.S. dollars) to Sri Lanka for its flood relief efforts.
The relief supplies include tents, blankets and others which Sri Lanka is in urgent need of, and will be sent to the country in the shortest time, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.