Monsoon death toll climbs to 113
COLOMBO: Indian medical teams and emergency relief arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday as the monsoon-related death toll reached 113 and authorities warned of more flooding in low-lying areas.
A ship carrying medical supplies docked here, sent by India to deal with the worst flooding in the island’s western and southern regions in 14 years.
The official Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said yesterday the death toll had climbed to 113 while the number of missing since Friday’s deluge had been revised down to 90 from 110.
Authorities issued fresh evacuation orders for those living downstream of two major rivers, citing a risk of flooding even though the rains had subsided.
India is sending another ship due to arrive tomorrow after Sri Lanka issued an international appeal for help.
The flooding is the worst since May 2003, when 250 people were killed and 10,000 homes destroyed after a similarly powerful southwest monsoon, officials said.
DMC said the monsoon ended a prolonged drought that had threatened agriculture as well as hydropower generation.
The rains have filled reservoirs used for hydroelectric projects after low supplies had raised fears of power shortages in June.
But, officials said most reservoirs were so full, they were in danger of overflowing and flooding communities living downstream.
Friday’s flooding was caused by rivers bursting their banks, but unusually heavy rain had triggered landslides burying homes.
More than 60,000 people had been driven out of their homes. AFP