Colombo has experienced the heaviest rainfall in the last 18 years leaving low-lying areas flooded and an estimated 40,000 families affected in the city and the suburbs. Military was deployed to rescue citizens from flood-hit areas and the scheduled session of Parliament had been postponed. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa had to use a boat to reach Parliament building which stood in three feet water.

Life was thrown out of gear as the affected areas recorded 43.5 cm of rain overnight, making it the worst since June 1992 when 49.7 centimetres fell in a day.

Troops have been deployed to rescue marooned people and clear stranded vehicles. The Navy engaged boats to help stranded residents.

Telecommunication links were affected due to lightening. Most schools were shut down and a national examination was cancelled. Offices reported thin attendance.

The met department said more rain was expected along the western coastal regions. “Heavy rains are due to inter monsoonal activity and we can expect more rain,” said met chief G. D. Samarasinghe.

Sri Lanka depends on monsoon rains for irrigation and power generation but the two main monsoon seasons run from May to September and December to February and rains in between are the result of inter-monsoon activity.