Floods, landslides kill 58 in Sri Lanka; 300,000 homeless

ECONOMYNEXT – Landslides and floods have killed 58 people in Sri Lanka and dirven over 300,000 people into temporary shelters, with 132 people still missing, the disaster management office said.

Nearly half a million people have been hit by heavy rains, floods and landslides.

The disaster management cenre said 428,000 people have been affected and 299,000 have been moved to shelters.

Low lying areas around the Kelani River in the Colombo district were among the worst affected where overflowing waters from the hill country inundated large areas.

The human toll came from a landslide in Aranayake, a mountainous area where over a 100 persons are still missing.

President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have visited the affected areas and the military has swung into action.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe urged residents to evacuate, promising military protection for their homes as water levels in the Kelani River continued to rise on Thursday.

The met department said a depression that brought record rainfall was moving away from the island towards Myanmar. (Colombo/May21/2016- CORRECTED/headline, opening paragraph and updated)

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