Death toll from Sri Lanka's monsoon rains rises to 23

Source: Xinhua| 2018-05-28 14:35:30|Editor: Chengcheng
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COLOMBO, May 28 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's Disaster Management Center (DMC) said on Monday that the death toll from Sri Lanka's monsoon rains had risen to 23, while 75,000 people have been evacuated and relocated to safer shelters.

DMC Spokesperson Pradeep Kodippili said out of the 23 killed, five had died after being struck by lightning while there were some deaths also reported due to drowning.

As more rains are expected in the coming days, Kodippili said the National Building and Research Organisation had also issued a severe landslide alert in the districts of Kalutara and Galle in the south, Ratnapura and Kegalle in south-central of the country and the Central Hills of Nuwera Eliya.

"People residing in these red alert areas will be evacuated to safer locations. They will have to remain there till the red alert is lifted," Kodippili said.

A red alert has also been issued to the naval and fishing communities in Puttalam, in northwestern Sri Lanka, Batticaloa in the east, capital Colombo and Galle in the south as wind speeds in the sea areas are expected to increase.

To date, thousands of Sri Lankan military and police personnel have been deployed in the affected districts carrying out relief work.

More than 4,000 houses have been partially or fully damaged or inundated.

Several roads in Gampaha district just outside Colombo were also underwater with the Education Ministry announcing that all schools in the district would remain closed till the roads clear.

President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last week instructed relevant authorities to immediately provide relief to the affected people.

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.

Fairly heavy falls above 50 mm can be expected at some places especially in Sabaragamuwa and Central provinces and in Galle and Matara districts.

"There may be temporary localized strong winds during thunder showers. General public is kindly requested to take adequate precautions to minimize damage caused by lightning activity," the Meteorological Department said.