Sri Lanka flood toll rises to 103

A friend in need: Indian naval personnel carrying out relief operations in Sri Lanka on Saturday.  

The death toll following Friday’s floods and landslides in Sri Lanka rose to 103, and as many as 113 people were missing as of Saturday evening, the Disaster Management Centre here said.

Doubtful about finding many of the missing persons alive, a senior army official told the Associated Press: “In landslides, it is difficult to find survivors after two days, and today is the second day.”

Big challenges

Health and sanitation were a huge challenge, officials said, in the badly-hit Southern and Western provinces, where several thousand people were displaced following severe flooding triggered by the South West Monsoon. Rain subsided on Saturday and water levels in some affected areas began to recede, but many localities remained cut off.

“We have sent 98 teams to the Southern and Western Provinces. We have rescued more than 3,000 people and moved them to safer zones. Our efforts will continue,” said Lieutenant-Commander Chaminda Walakuluge, Sri Lankan Navy spokesman. “It is a great strength to have colleagues from India supporting us at a time like this,” he told The Hindu.

India joined Sri Lanka in rescue and relief operations, after naval ship INS Kirch arrived in Colombo with 125 personnel and supplies. Amid a rising death toll and massive destruction to property, Sri Lanka appealed to international agencies and neighbours for help.

The Indian Mission was in touch with Sri Lankan authorities to coordinate further support, High Commissioner Taranjit Sandhu said. On Sunday, INS Shardul will arrive in Colombo with more relief material. INS Jalashwa, from Visakhapatnam, is expected to reach Colombo in two days.

The recent flood was the worst to hit the island since 2003, media reports said.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 1:37:48 AM |

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