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* Death toll in Sri Lanka mudslides, floods exceeds 200, blocked roads hamper relief efforts
Wed, May 31, 2017, 12:57 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 31, Colombo: The death toll from floods and mudslides in Sri Lanka has exceeded 200, while 96 others are still missing, the government said Wednesday.

According to the latest figures reported by the Disaster Management Center (DMC) in its report issued at 9 am Wednesday 202 people have been confirmed dead while 96 people are missing and 63 are injured.

The DMC said 629,742 people belonging to 163,701 families were affected in 15 Districts due to the flood situation. Further, 77,432 people belonging to 19,784 families are sheltered at 366 safe locations.

According to the DMC 1,505 houses have been completely destroyed and 7,617 houses partially damaged.

Meanwhile, the tri-forces assisted by the Sri Lanka Red Cross are continuing relief and rescue efforts. Special teams of divers and navy personnel arrived from India aboard three relief ships are assisting the Sri Lanka Navy teams deployed for relief and rescue operations.

Ratnapura is one the most affected regions with many reported landslides and flooding. Relief efforts are hampered due to inaccessibility as the roads are being blocked by earth slips, falling boulders and trees across roads. Many roads have been inundated by flood water making travel impossible.

The Army troops are engaged in clearing the roads as relief teams are facing immense difficulty in reaching isolated and distant locations, the army said.

Sri Lanka’s National Building Research Organization also issued warnings of further landslides in a number of districts, including Kegalle and Ratnapura.

The United Nations Migration Agency (IOM) Tuesday deployed three rapid assessment teams to the four worst-hit districts of Ratnapura, Galle, Matara and Kalutara - in the south and center of the country.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said he was "deeply concerned by the devastating impact caused by Cyclone Mora on Sri Lanka and Bangladesh," adding that the UN stood "ready to scale up its support to the government-led response efforts in both countries."

Sri Lanka's Health Ministry said it is also deploying mobile health units and will introduce vector control measures to combat expected outbreaks of mosquito-borne dengue fever, which often follows flooding. Displaced people living in emergency shelters are particularly vulnerable.


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