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* Inclement weather closes 148 schools in Sri Lanka's Western Province, death toll rises to 22
Wed, Jun 4, 2014, 12:59 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

June 04, Colombo: The Chief Minister of Western Province Prasanna Ranatunga has decided to temporary close 148 schools in the area until further notice due to inclement weather.

Many areas in Western Province have been flooded due to the torrential rainfall received since Sunday. The floods and earth slips caused by the rains have claimed 22 lives, the Disaster Management Center (DMC) said.

According to the DMC, 24,984 people of 5,937 families have been affected in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, North Western and Central Provinces

Kalutara District is the worst affected in the Western Province. Out of the 22 deaths, 14 have been occurred in the Kalutara district due to cutting failures.

The low lying areas of the district such as Agalawatta, Palindanuwara, Bulathsinhala, Matugama, Welipenna, Pelawatte, Omantha are still submerged, according to the Disaster Management center.

The government has allocated Rs. 70 million to provide relief to the people affected by the adverse weather, Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. Rs. 4 million has been allocated for the Kalutara district, the Minister added.

Deputy Minister Y. Padmasiri has said in parliament that the Agricultural Ministry has agreed to provide concessions to farmers whose cultivation is damaged due to adverse weather. Accordingly, the farmers will be provided with the seed paddy, he added. Meanwhile, the Meteorology Department predicted Showers or thundershowers at times in the Western, Sabaragamuwa and Central provinces and the Galle and Matara districts. Fairly heavy rain falls of more than 75mm can be expected, the Department said.

Winds will be Southwesterly and the speed will be 20-40 kmph. Winds can be strengthening up to 50 kmph at times.

The Meteorology Department warned that the sea areas off the coast extending from Galle to Pottuvil via Hambantota and from Chilaw to Trincomalee via Mannar and Kankasanthurai will be rough at times as the winds can be strengthening up to 60 kmph at times. Other sea areas around the island will also be fairly rough at times.

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

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