Floods, landslides kill at least 91 in Sri Lanka

According to the Disaster Management Center (DMC), 23 people have died and over a million people have been affected due to the island-wide inclement weather.

Modi said Indian ships are being dispatched with relief material.

She is likely to reach late morning or by noon tomorrow.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will keep monitoring the situation and will seek assistance as required", said Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranavithana.

The military had been deployed to rescue people stranded by floods, and fishermen asked to hand over their boats and ferries for rescue operations. Authorities appealed for worldwide help for rescue and relief operations.

Five rivers in the south and west of the island have flooded, affecting more than 61,000 people, the agency says.

Nearly 8,000 people were driven out of their homes in the southwestern region of Kalutara, one of the worst affected, according to the DMC.

Chief of Meteorological Department R S Jayasekera said while the peak of the monsoon had passed, more rains are expected during the next few days.

But officials said most reservoirs were now so full they were in danger of spilling over and causing dangers of flooding to people living downstream.

Mudslides have become more common in Sri Lanka during the monsoon season because land has been deforested to make way for export crops including tea and rubber.

The latest flooding was the worst since May 2003 when 250 people were killed and 10,000 homes destroyed after a similarly powerful Southwest monsoon, officials said.

  • Leroy Wright