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* Update: Over 7,000 affected, 15 deaths as rains, floods wreak havoc in Sri Lanka
Mon, Jun 2, 2014, 07:38 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

June 02, Colombo: Over 7,000 people were affected and 15 people have died in Sri Lanka as heavy rains caused flooding and landslides in several areas in the island, the Disaster Management Center (DMC) said.

The western and southern regions experienced heavy rains with more than 100 millimeters within about an hour on Sunday and many areas in Western Province have been flooded due to the torrential rainfall, the DMC said.

According to the DMC low lying areas of Kalutara District, such as Agalawatta, Palindanuwara, Bulathsinhala, Matugama, Welipenna, Pelawatte, Omantha have been submerged by floods and hundreds of families have been affected. Seven deaths have been also reported due to cutting failures from the Agalawatta and Walallavita areas.

Two deaths have been reported from Pothuarawa, Malabe in Colombo District, when a wall collapsed on a couple at a residence this morning and one person is missing due to floods in Kiribathgoda area in Gampaha District.

Security forces and police are engaged with search and rescue operations in collaboration with the District Disaster Management Coordinating Units in the affected areas while respective district secretaries are providing relief services.

Sri Lanka Red Cross has mobilized its Branch Disaster Response Teams (BDRT) and First Aid teams to assist and aid the people affected by the flash floods and landslides.

The Red Cross said its Branch Disaster Response Teams will now asses the situations in the affected region and then coordinate the required support and assistance with the Government and Disaster Management Centre.

The Kalutara Branch of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) has begun the distribution of non-food relief items (NFRI) to over 1200 affected families in the Kalutara district.

The DMC warned that many rivers in the Western and Southern Provinces including the Kalu Ganga, Kukule Ganga, Gin Ganga and the Benthara and Nilwala Rivers may overflow if a rainfall exceeding 100 millimeters prevails in the next few hours.

Deputy Media Director of the DMC Sarath R. Kumara requested the residents in the low lying areas of these rivers to remain alert.

State-run radio reported that Gin Ganga is overflowing in the Baddegama area, the Nilwala River at Pathaduma and the Kalu Ganga at the Millakanda area.

Meanwhile, the train services on the main and northern railway lines that were disrupted earlier due to the floods around the Ragama Railway Station have returned to normal as floods have receded, the Railway Control Room said.

The Meteorology Department predicted heavy rainfall - more than 100 mm in some areas within next 24 hours.

Due to the convergence of wind flow showery weather will occur in the western, Sabaragamuwa, and Central Provinces and in Galle and Matara districts, the Meteorology Department said.

Thundershowers are expected to develop at several places in the Uva, North central and Eastern provinces during the afternoon or evening.

According to the weather forecast fairly strong winds can be expected along the western slopes of the Central hills at times. There may be temporary localized strong winds during thundershowers.

The Department warned the general public to take adequate precautions to minimize the damages caused by lightning activities.

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