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* Sri Lanka floods begin to recede, death toll stands at 38
Mon, Jan 17, 2011, 01:27 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 17, Colombo: Flood waters that brought severe destruction to already war-ravaged areas in Sri Lanka have begun to recede as the rains have remained moderate over the last few days.

According to the latest statistics from the Disaster Management Center (DMC), the floods in the North Central and Eastern provinces and landslides in the Central Province have claimed 38 lives with 4 missing and injuring another 51 persons.

As of Monday noon, the DMC reported that a total of 1,073,895 from 285,659 families have been affected by the deluge. However, as the flood waters recede people have started to return home and only 51,423 displaced people remained in 137 camps.

The recent report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) issued Sunday said the agencies have completed more than 60 rapid needs assessments in the 12 flood-affected districts to understand initial emergency needs.

The agency says as the floods-affected return to their homes they will have significant humanitarian needs to rebuild their homes and to resume their lives.

Among the non-food items needed urgently, some key needs include cooking sets, mosquito nets and coils, lamps, towels, bedding, clothing and sleeping mats.

The Government is planning a comprehensive post-disaster needs assessment once the situation stabilizes.

According to the UN organization, 98 percent of over 175,000 inundated homes (in accessible areas) have sustained damages. Although some of these houses may be repairable, at the moment structural damage and wholesale destruction of basic living equipment will make occupancy hazardous in many locations, the OCHA noted.

A Flash Appeal to support the mobilization of humanitarian assistance towards the flood affected and displaced population is anticipated to be launched on Thursday, 20 January 2011, the OCHA reported.



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