Unusually heavy rains have killed at least 13 people and left another 120,000 homeless and some 850,000 displaced in Sri Lanka.

Government officials said on Tuesday that the heavy rains have resulted in flash floods and landslides in several provinces mostly in the eastern and north-eastern parts of the country.

Hundreds of emergency camps have been set up, and the government has deployed the air force and navy to drop food and rescue marooned residents mainly in worst-affected eastern district of Batticaloa.

The floods have also destroyed 200,000 acres of paddy land which would effect rice prices, the staple diet of Sri Lankans, according to officials.

The worst effected areas were the east, north central and central areas of the island. Reservoirs in north central part of the island were overflowing.

Widespread flooding and displacement are common in Sri Lanka, where a southern monsoon batters the island between May and September, and a northeastern monsoon runs from December to February.

Source: Agencies