Heavy rains and strong winds in Sri Lanka leave 10 dead, affect nearly 220,000

COLOMBO (XINHUA) – The death toll from Sri Lanka’s inclement weather conditions rose to 10 on Saturday (June 5) evening while 219,027 people were affected, the country’s Disaster Management Centre said.

According to the latest official statistics, eight districts had been severely affected by days of heavy rains and strong winds while 15,499 people had been moved to safer locations.

The navy said earlier on Saturday that its teams, which had been deployed for emergency rescue operations, saved 29 people trapped by floods in the Puttalam district in north-western Sri Lanka.

According to the navy media unit, the 29 people, including women and children, were from 10 families. They were trapped by rising flood waters in their areas and had sent out a distress call.

A landslide warning also had been issued for some districts.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed officials to provide immediate relief for all people affected by adverse weather conditions while the Irrigation Department has issued a flood warning in several districts.

The Meteorology Department in the latest weather report said that heavy falls of 150mm could be expected over the weekend and the public were urged to be cautious especially from heavy lightning.

The department further said that wind speeds were expected to increase up to 50-55kmh in northern, north central and north-western provinces.

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