[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Deadly floods strike rain-soaked Sri Lanka

Officials report 25 people killed, 36 more still missing, and more than 265,000 others marooned inside their homes.
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2012 02:03

Flash floods have killed at least 25 people in Sri Lanka and left more than a quarter of a million marooned in their homes, disaster officials said.

Heavy rains, which have battered the island for much of the week, were still being reported in 14 of Sri Lanka's 25 administrative districts on Thursday, with the central highlands - one of the world's key tea producing regions - the worst hit.

Sarath Lal Kumara, the deputy director of the Disaster Management Centre, said that 25 people were now known to have died and a further 36 remained missing.

Most of the deaths were due to landslides engulfing homes.

The disaster management centre said more than 265,000 people had been cut off in their homes by the floods and thousands more had either sought refuge with relatives and friends or else been given emergency shelter.

"We have housed some 18,845 people from over 5,000 families in 102 relief camps", Kumara told AFP news agency.

Many of the evacuations took place in the central district of Matale after authorities declared it a danger zone over landslide fears.

Bhadra Kamaladasa, the director general of irrigation, said that around half of the country's 71 main reservoirs were overflowing.

In the west coastal town of Chilaw at least five fishermen had gone missing. The main motorway and the town were under six feet of flood water, police said.

The Railway Department announced the disruption of several key services as the tracks remained submerged.

The floods are some of the worst in Sri Lanka since early 2011 when unusually heavy monsoon rains left at least 64 people dead and drove more than one million people out of their homes.

282

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.