Sri Lanka’s flood havoc kills 11, displaces over 150,000 (Lead)

June 2nd, 2008 - 5:00 pm ICT by IANS  

By P. Karunakharan
Colombo, June 2 (IANS) Floods and landslides due to heavy rains in several parts of Sri Lanka have left at least 11 people dead and over 150,000 displaced amid warning of further rains and strong winds, officials here said Monday. Colonel Keethi Ekkanayake, national coordinator of the Disaster Management Centre, said the overnight death toll of four increased to 11 by Monday noon when seven people including children were reported dead due to floods and fresh landslide in the southern Kalutara district.

“The situation is getting worse in Mileniyaya and Bulathsinhala areas in Kalutara district. Overall, more than 150,000 people from 45,000 families have been badly affected due to the flood havoc,” Col. Ekkanayake told IANS.

Torrential monsoon rains have caused the Kalu Ganga, Nilwala Ganga, Gin Ganga and Kelani Ganga rivers to overflow, displacing at least 9,745 families from these areas.

According to Disaster Relief Services Minister Ameer Ali, southern Galle, central Ratnapura and western Gampaha districts are the other three districts that have been badly affected by floods and landslides.

Ali said two air force helicopters and navy boats were deployed to rescue and assist thousands of flood victims. The displaced families have been provided temporary shelter in government schools and temples.

“We have made arrangements to pay initially Rs.15,000 as funeral expenses for the families of the dead,” Ali said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Meteorology in its weather forecast report said Monday morning that “there will be showers and thundershowers at times in the western, Sabaragamuwa and central provinces and parts of the north-western province and Galle and Matara districts in the Southern province during the next 24 hours.”

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