Sri Lanka flood toll exceeds 150; more rains forecast

Sri Lankan rescuers pulled out more bodies under enormous mudslides on Sunday as the death toll climbed to 146 with 112 others missing.

China today offered United States dollars 2.2 million worth of humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka for its flood relief efforts as the death toll in the country's worst torrential rains since 2003 climbed to 193.

The current flooding and landslides have affected more than 430,000 people resulting in 151 deaths and more than 100 people missing.

Sri Lanka has sought worldwide assistance. The military has arranged a dozen aircraft for the evacuation work and to transport food and other necessities to affected regions.

The government also set aside two billion rupees to help small and medium-scale enterprises affected by the floods as well as the landslides.

Police spokesman Priyantha Jayakody said multiple landslides were reported in Kalutara, Ratnapura and Matara.

The incessant rains experienced since Thursday night have driven almost half a million people out of their inundated homes in the southern and western regions. Gen. Sudantha Ranasinghe, who is heading the search and rescue mission.

China responded to flood disaster in Sri Lanka by committing to donate relief items worth of USA 2.2 million, a statement said today.

Over 768 houses have been destroyed, 5,869 more have been partially damaged and 80,409 people are temporarily displaced in 361 safe locations, according to the government.

The High Commission also tweeted an image of the Sri Lankan foreign minister, Ravi Karunanayake, receiving aid from one of the Indian vessels.

An Indian Navy ship carrying medical teams and emergency relief supplies has arrived in response to a Sri Lankan government plea for help.

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

"We have the expertise to deal with this situation", said Mr Senaratne, adding that cholera and diarrhoea had been successfully prevented in past floods.

The United Nations said it had joined the relief efforts and would donate water purification tablets, tents and other supplies for the displaced.

He said India's move to send relief materials demonstrated the Indo-Lanka relations which are at an excellent level.

Mudslides and floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains have killed scores of people in the island nation.

  • Leroy Wright