Heavy monsoon storms kill 27 in Sri Lanka

2013-06-10 10:03
Onlookers take a closer look at the carcass of a 6m whale, washed ashore following severe monsoon weather, in Colombo. (Ishara Kodikara, AFP)

Onlookers take a closer look at the carcass of a 6m whale, washed ashore following severe monsoon weather, in Colombo. (Ishara Kodikara, AFP)

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Colombo - The death toll from strong winds and monsoon rains across the Sri Lanka's coastal-belt rose to 27 while another 29 fishermen are missing.

The navy is searching for the 29 fishermen and more than 32 boats missing since heavy monsoon rains and winds hit early on Saturday, said Pradeep Kodippili, a spokesperson for the government's disaster management centre.

He said fishermen have been hardest hit by the extreme weather, accounting for all but one of the dead. Another 35 fishermen have been injured, Kodippili said.

The meteorology department has issued a warning of bad weather with strong winds because of the southwest monsoon.

The Sri Lankan navy and air force deployed three ships and two helicopters for a joint rescue operation and were able to rescue 20 fishermen in the rough seas.

Spill gates of four major reservoirs that generate hydroelectricity were opened late on Saturday to prevent damages to the gates, a government statement said.

Read more on:    sri lanka  |  weather

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