Aid reaches Sri Lanka flood vic­tims

Fiji Sun - - World News - Jy­otip@fi­jisun.com.fj

Colombo:

For­eign aid has be­gun ar­riv­ing in Sri Lanka, bring­ing help to half a mil­lion peo­ple who have been driven from their homes by heavy rains and deadly land­slides, as flood­wa­ters sub­sided slightly, of­fi­cials said. The Sri Lankan For­eign Min­istry said an In­dian Air Force plane car­ry­ing emer­gency sup­plies had ar­rived in Colombo while two In­dian naval ships were also ex­pected at the port in the cap­i­tal.

Flood­wa­ter lev­els in parts of the cap­i­tal sub­sided a lit­tle overnight on Satur­day, dis­as­ter of­fi­cials said, but not enough for any­one to move back to their homes on the banks of the Ke­lani river. “Colombo did not re­ceive any sig­nif­i­cant rain last night and the wa­ter lev­els of the Ke­lani went down slightly,” Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment Cen­tre (DMC) spokesper­son Pradeep Kodip­pili said. “But there were show­ers up­stream and we are wor­ried that the wa­ter lev­els can rise again in a day.”

Three peo­ple have been killed in flood-re­lated in­ci­dents in Colombo and the na­tional toll stands at 64 dead and 29 in­jured.

The heav­i­est rains in a quar­ter of a cen­tury, caused by Cy­clone Roanu, have pounded Sri Lanka since last week­end, trig­ger­ing huge land­slides that have buried some vic­tims in up to 15 me­tres of mud.

Food, es­sen­tials taken to stranded res­i­dents The In­dian Gov­ern­ment has pro­vided aid in­clud­ing in­flat­able boats, out­board mo­tors, div­ing equip­ment, med­i­cal sup­plies, elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tors, rain­coats, um­brel­las and sleep­ing bags, of­fi­cials said. The Sri Lankan Navy and Air Force took stranded res­i­dents to safety as well as bring­ing food and other es­sen­tials for the few who re­mained in their homes. Pres­i­dent Maithri­pala Sirisena urged Sri Lankans to pro­vide shel­ter and do­nate cash or food as of­fers of as­sis­tance came in from over­seas.

ABC

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