COLOMBO, May 25 (Xinhua) -- The death toll from Sri Lanka's monsoon rains climbed to 15 on Friday with over 126,000 people affected and thousands of families evacuated to safer zones, the Disaster Management Center (DMC) said.
DMC spokesperson Pradeep Kodippili said while more rains were expected, the police and tri forces were assigned in all the affected districts to carry out relief and search and rescue efforts.
To date over 4,000 houses, mainly in the south and north central Sri Lanka have been fully or partially damaged.
Kodippili also warned the naval and fishing communities to be vigilant as the sea areas extending from Mannar, in the north to Pottuvil, in the east and then Galle and Hambantota, in the south, could be rough as the wind speed could increase up to 60 to 70 kilometers per hour at times.
The water levels in some major rivers were rising and till Friday morning, disaster relief teams were involved in evacuating families living in low areas to safer zones.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday instructed relevant authorities to immediately provide relief to the people affected by floods and landslides due to continuous torrential rains.
The president directed officials to provide relief supplies to those affected and take steps to provide all requirements.
Sri Lanka is facing its annual southwest monsoons with the Meteorological Department in its latest weather report warning of more rains in several districts across the country in the coming days.
Over 200 people were killed and 78 people missing when the southwest monsoons caused severe floods and landslides across Sri Lanka last year.