Floods and landslides in Sri Lanka have killed at least 91 people while more than 100 are missing after torrential rain, officials said on Friday, as soldiers fanned out in boats and in helicopters to help with rescue operations.
The Indian Navy too has been pressed into action to help the island nation with INS Kirch operating in Bay of Bengal being diverted to Colombo to render immediate assistance in flood relief operations.
INS Shardul with medical relief kits and diving teams left from Kerala’s Kochi port at 7am and is likely to reach Colombo by tonight.
Additionally, INS Jalashwa shall sail out from Visakhapatnam shortly with HADR (Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief) stores which includes victualing, clothing, medicines and water.
The ship will also carry medical and diving teams along with Gemini crafts and helicopters to assist in relief operations. It is likely to reach late morning or by noon on May 28, Sunday.
“There are at least five landslides reported in several places in Kalutara,” said police spokesman Priyantha Jayakody, referring to the worst-hit district on the island’s west coast.
“Rescue operations are still taking place.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences and solidarity with Sri Lanka, further assuring of complete assistance in relief and rehabilitation operations.
DEATH TOLL RISES
The disaster management center said 91 people had been killed and 110 were missing. The center said 38 deaths were reported from Kalutara while 46 were reported from the central southern district of Ratnapura.
Military Spokesman Roshan Senevirathne said about 400 military personnel had been deployed with boats and helicopters to help the police and civilian agencies.
The wettest time of the year in Sri Lanka’s south is usually during the southern monsoon, from May to September. The island nation also receives heavy rains in the North West monsoonal season from November to February.
Sri Lankan meteorology officials said Thursday’s rains are the worst since 2003 and they expected more rain in the coming days as the South-west monsoon condition had established over the country.The Meteorology Department has warned of more rains in the next 24 hours.
Indian PM Modi also tweeted that the Indian ships with relief material will reach Sri Lanka soon to assist in flood relief operations .
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