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Sri Lanka Monsoon Floods Claim Seven Lives

Sri Lanka Monsoon Floods Claim Seven Lives

Flooding and landslides caused by monsoon rains in Sri Lanka have resulted in the deaths of at least seven people, as reported by the country’s Disaster Management Centre (DMC). In the town of Sitawaka, located just outside the capital Colombo, three members of the same family lost their lives when their home was inundated with water.

The adverse weather conditions have led to power outages in several regions and prompted the closure of schools on Monday. Landslide warnings have been issued across nine districts as the situation continues to escalate. Pradeep Kodippili, Director of the DMC, informed the BBC’s Sinhala service that the risk of flooding is rapidly increasing in Colombo and other southern areas, with some locations receiving over 400mm of rainfall so far. He cautioned that the minor flood risk is evolving into a major threat and urged Sri Lankans to heed emergency announcements from the government and the DMC.

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The monsoon rains have impacted 20 out of Sri Lanka’s 25 districts. In response, the military has been mobilized to assist those affected by the disaster. The Air Force has deployed three helicopters and rescue teams to aid in relief operations, according to spokesperson Capt Dushan Wijesinghe. Similarly, the Navy has dispatched 10 teams, with an additional 116 on standby, as stated by spokesperson Capt Gayan Wickramasuriya. The army is also involved, providing food to displaced individuals.

Electricity supplies have been deliberately cut off in some areas to prevent further hazards, as explained by Sulakshana Jayawardena of the Ministry of Electricity and Energy. Coordination with the DMC led to these suspensions, and efforts to restore power will commence once the floodwaters recede and the situation is reassessed.