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* Heavy rains affect over 350,000 in Sri Lanka
Fri, Dec 31, 2010, 08:16 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 31, Colombo: Heavy rains experienced in most parts of the country have affected over 350,000 people, the latest report from Sri Lanka's Disaster Management Center (DMC) says.

The DMC figures released today show that 364,854 people from 97,144 families have been affected due to the rains.

Batticaloa District is the worst hit by incessant rains with 331,418 people from 87,832 families being affected. Two deaths have been reported from the district. All 14 Divisional Secretariat areas in the District are inundated.

The government has set up 52 camps in the district to provide shelter to 14,491 people displaced due to the floods and Divisional Secretariats have been distributing relief to the affected masses.

Batticaloa District has experienced 183 mm of rain during the past 48 hours and authorities say providing relief has become a challenge as many schools in the area have been inundated.

All water reservoirs in the Rajarata region have reached spill levels due to the downpours, and the Irrigation Department has opened the sluice gates of many tanks.

The authorities warn the people living in low-lying areas to be vigilant as water from the reservoirs is released at high rates.

Ten sluice gates of the Parakrama Samudraya have been opened releasing 1500 cubic feet of water per second.

According to the DMC, heavy rains have also affected Trincomalee, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, and Ampara districts.

The rains have destroyed 1,437 homes and partially damaged another 3,562 homes, the DMC recorded.

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