Mon­soon death toll climbs to 113

New Straits Times - - World -

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

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