Sri Lanka floods claim at least 151 lives

Minister Balakrishnan said Singapore stands ready to support Sri Lanka's relief efforts.

Sri Lankan meteorology officials said the rains were the worst since 2003 and they expected more in the coming days.

Sri Lanka's ministry of foreign affairs in coordination with the ministry of disaster management, appealed to the UN, International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) and neighboring countries to provide assistance to affected people, especially in the areas of search and rescue operations. Rohan Pethiyagod, head of the Tea Board in the world's largest black tea-exporting country, said supplies would be disrupted for the next tea auction because of lack of transportation.

Water levels are gradually receding in many areas but with more rain predicted on Monday residents are scared.

Most victims were killed by landslides, not the flood waters, as their homes on hillsides were buried under torrents of mud and rock.

More than 400,000 people remain displaced across 15 districts with seven districts on high alert for landslides, Mercy Relief added. They complained that government aid had still not reached the area and they were surviving on food provided by those in nearby villagers.

More than 150 people have lost their lives in the disaster.

The charity Save the Children said about a tenth of those displaced were children below the age of five years, and raised concern over stagnant flood waters becoming breeding grounds for dengue spreading mosquitos.

Heavy rains in Sri Lanka have prompted devastating mudslides and flooding, killing at least 91 people and leaving more than 100 missing, according to authorities.

Sri Lankan flood victims carry an elderly woman as she is evacuated from a flood-hit area in Wehangalla village in Kalutara district, Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka has sought worldwide assistance, with India sending two naval ships laden with supplies over the weekend.

The first vessel with humanitarian aid from India reached Colombo on Saturday.

Sri Lankan men push their vehicles across a road against the inundated water caused by floods at Kaduwela, 20kms away from capital city Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The flooding is believed to be the worst since May 2003 when a similarly powerful south-west monsoon destroyed 10,000 homes and killed 250 people.

India sent a shipload of goods, while the United States and Pakistan also promised relief supplies.

  • Leroy Wright