Death toll in Sri Lanka floods reaches 150
[TamilNet, Sunday, 18 May 2003, 19:53 GMT]
Flash floods and mudslides in southern and south-central region of Sri Lanka have killed nearly 150 people, said government officials in Colombo. The flood disaster is the worst seen in more than 50 years since independence, officials added.
Reports from Ratnapura, the gem capital of Sri Lanka, said that more than 200,000 people have been made homeless in Ratnapura and adjoining three districts, 34 bodies have been recovered from mudslides and another 47 have been confirmed dead.
More than 10 were reported drowned in the district of Matara. Several have been made homeless in southern towns of Deniyaya and Akuressa which are also under water, reports said. Central district of Nuwara Eliya was also badly affected with more than 100 families made homeless, according to officials.
Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, visited the flooded areas after his return from a private visit to Kerala in South India.
Meanwhile, sources say that appeal to India for help has received a positive response. and an Indian naval patrol craft, INS Sujatha, carrying relief supplies and a medical team is on its way to help the flood victims.