Flash flood crisis in S Lanka

2009-11-19 18:01
Colombo - Nearly 60 000 people were left homeless in Sri Lanka on Thursday following flash floods in the capital Colombo and the suburbs, an official said.

"We have a list of over 58 000 individuals who were left homeless in and around Colombo," Kodipillai said, adding that they were being housed in public buildings.

Thousands of homes were flooded on Wednesday, forcing people to seek temporary shelter in public buildings, he said. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Water levels were receding on Thursday but flood victims required shelter until their homes could be cleaned or repaired, he said.

On Wednesday, some of the roads in the capital were up to two metres under water as storm systems were unable to cope with the deluge. Many of the roads blocked on Wednesday began to clear on Thursday.

The weather office said Wednesday's deluge was the highest rainfall in Colombo since November 2007 when 27cm of rain fell.

Sri Lanka depends on monsoon rains for irrigation and power generation but the seasonal downpours frequently cause loss of life and damage to property in low-lying areas.

The island's two main monsoon seasons run from May to September and December to February.

- SAPA
Read more on:    sri lanka  |  weather
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