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* Economic losses over 6 billion rupees as floods ravage Sri Lanka
Wed, Dec 29, 2010, 11:52 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 29, Colombo: Sri Lanka's national economy has suffered losses of 6 billion rupees due to the floods ravaging many parts of the island in recent weeks, the government revealed.

The losses to the economy came to light when the National Council for Disaster Management met Tuesday (28) at the Temple Trees under President Mahinda Rajapaksa's patronage to discuss measures need to be taken to provide relief to the affected people.

The Council has decided at the meeting that constructions in areas prone to landslides must be carried out under the strict supervision of local government institutions, a communiqué released by the President's Office said.

The President has called for the Meteorology Department to be vigilant of whether changes and alert the public including schools prior to impending disasters.

President Rajapaksa has instructed to include officials from the Ministry of Disaster Management to be included as part of the curricular of schools, universities and technical training institutions.

Floods in recent weeks have affected 215,972 people from 57,210 families in the country. The Batticaloa district is the most affected with 212,211 people from 56,259 families being stranded by the floods. A total of 826 houses have been partially damaged while 112 houses have been completely destroyed.

Heavy rains have filled several water reservoirs in the North Central and North Western provinces to the spill levels forcing the authorities to open sluice gates of those reservoirs and submerging low-lying areas and roads.

In the Kilinochchi district 164 acres of crops have been destroyed due to heavy rains.

Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratna, Ministers Basil Rajapaksa, Bandula Gunawardena, Ministers Secretary to the President Lalith Weerathunge, Secretary to the Ministry of Finance Dr. P. B. Jayasundara and Members of the Council participated in the meeting.

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