Dec 27, Colombo: Floods and landslides caused by torrential rains with gale force winds in Sri Lanka have left 21 people dead, 10 missing, and over 100,000 displaced from homes while over a million people are affected by the adverse weather, the Disaster Management Center said today.
As of Saturday, 1,024,347 people belonging to 282,378 families have been affected by the floods and landslides.
A total of 100,731 people from 28,756 families have been evacuated to 525 shelters set up in Northern, North Central, North Western, Central, Eastern,, Uva, Sabaragamuwa and Western Provinces.
Fourteen of the reported deaths were due to landslides in the Badulla district of Uva Province. Another seven are missing in the district.
According to the DMC 4,340 houses have been fully damaged and 13,617 houses are partially damaged.
The floods have also destroyed several thousand acres of paddy lands in the Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura and Batticaloa districts.
Meanwhile, the Meteorology Department warned of more thundershowers, particularly in the Eastern, Uva, Central, North Central and North Western provinces as the depression causing the rains is in the vicinity of East coast of Sri Lanka. It is expected to move northwards affecting the country and surrounding sea area bringing heavy rains with over 100 mm rainfalls at some places.
Country's armed forces have been called on to assist the DMC and the police to rescue and evacuate affected people to shelters.
The Health Ministry has deployed special teams to the shelters to meet the health needs of the displaced people and sufficient stocks of medicine have been sent to the affected areas.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ordered the Treasury to release sufficient funds to provide relief to people affected by the adverse weather conditions.
The government has directed the Treasury to release funds to District Secretaries to provide food and other relief items to the affected families.
A special committee has also been appointed under the leadership of President's secretary Lalith Weeratunga to expedite and streamline the relief operations.