India Rushes Help To Flood-Hit Sri Lanka;100 Killed

According to the Disaster Management Centre, Sri Lanka has witnessed the worst rainfall since the 1970s.

The death toll from the devastating floods and landslides reached 100 on Saturday while 200,000 people have been displaced and 99 are still missing, the Disaster Management Center said.

Sri Lanka's tri-forces personnel including more than 1,000 Army troops were engaged in the rescue and relief operations. But some remained trapped in interior villages where boats have been unable to reach.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences and solidarity with Sri Lanka, further assuring of complete assistance in relief and rehabilitation operations.

The second ship INS Jalashwan will carry Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief stores with them.

Police spokesperson Priyantha Jayakody said after Thursday's rains, multiple landslides were reported in the western coastal district of Kalutara, the central southern district of Ratnapura, and the southern district of Matara.

Kirch with emergency relief supplies arrived at the Port of Colombo Saturday to assist the ongoing disaster relief efforts for the communities affected by the extreme weather in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka's government appealed to the United Nations as well as other countries for help with rescue and relief measures.

The government has set up 104 temporary shelters in public buildings to accommodate those driven out of their homes by flooding and landslides, he added. Indian medical teams and rescue personnel also arrived in the capital of Colombo.

A ship carrying medical supplies docked in Colombo today, sent by India to help deal with the worst flooding in the island's western and southern regions in 14 years after record rainfall.

The Meteorology Department said that rain and windy conditions are expected to continue.

In 2003, the powerful Southwest monsoon wrecked 10,000 homes and killed at least 250 people.

Mudslides have become common during the monsoon season in the tropical Indian Ocean island as land has been heavily deforested to grow export crops such as tea and rubber.

Earlier, condoling the loss of lives and property and assuring aid from India, Modi said: "India condoles the loss of lives and property in Sri Lanka due to flooding and landslides".

Sri Lanka's Health Minister Dr Rajitha Senarathna said 102,218 displaced people were being sheltered in 339 relief centres.

  • Leroy Wright