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Sri Lanka death toll rise to 164 as cyclone ‘Mora’ takes aim at Bangladesh

ECONOMYNEXT – The death toll from landslides and floods in Sri Lanka rose to 164 as authorities forecast more rain and heavy winds with a cyclonic storm forming over the Bay of Bengal on Monday.

The Department of Meteorology said a depression that brought devastation to Sri Lanka has been upgraded to a tropical cyclonc storm.

The storm, tagged ‘Mora’, was moving away from Sri Lanka towards Bangladesh, but western parts of the island were likely to get more rain.

Heavy rains triggered landslides killing 164 people in Sri Lanka and 104 remain missing so far. More than 471,000 have been made homeless.

The Ratnapura district has seen the heaviest toll so far, with 71 deaths, followed by 53 in Kaluthara and 21 in Matara.

Authorities have warned of more rains and winds gusting to 80 kilometres per hour. Fishermen have been warned to be vigilant. Authorities also warned of more landslides if rains continue in vulnerable areas like Ratnapura, Kegalle, Galle, Kalutara, Matara, Hambantota and Nuwara Eliya. 

The National Building Research Organization asked people to more away from areas it had already identified.

People were also asked to evacuate if they see early warning signs like slanting trees or utility pole cracks developing on the ground or on walls of buildings or the appearance of muddy water from mountain springs. Muddy water can indicate that an aquifer higher up on the mountain may have burst, unleashing a devastating mud flow and debris avalanche.

People living near steep or cut slopes (such as an area where a mountainside had been cut to build a road) are warned to move way. (Colombo/May28/2017)





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